USAID launches two new food security programs in Zim

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Wednesday announced two new food security programmes Amalima Loko and Takunda meant to improve food security in the country’s marginalised districts.

These two programmes will run for five years and are targeting nearly 490 000 Zimbabweans in Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Manicaland provinces. 

USAID Director Art Brown said these two new programmes would build on the United States’ investment in Zimbabwean people and were part of measures to eradicate hunger.

“The programmes are to tackle the root causes of food insecurity and poverty by assisting almost a half a million vulnerable Zimbabweans to transition from humanitarian assistance to resilience and self-reliance,” Brown said in a statement issued by the United States (US) Embassy Public Affairs Section.

Amalima Loko is derived from the Ndebele word meaning a group of people coming together to achieve a common goal and Loko is a Tonga word that means “genuine.” 

Under Amalima Lolo, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture will implement this US$75 million investment to improve food security for more than 188 000 vulnerable Zimbabweans in five districts of Matabeleland North Province namely: Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Hwange and Binga. 

The programme is expected to increase access to food, improve nutritional behaviours, and educate communities on sustainable watershed management, said the US embassy.

The other food programme -Takunda, is a Shona word meaning “We Have Overcome,” is worth US$55 million and will be implemented by CARE International.

“Takunda will target more than 301 000 Zimbabweans in two districts of Masvingo province, Chivi and Zaka, and two districts in Manicaland province, Buhera and Mutare,” said the US embassy.

This programme will empower women and youth to create sustainable livelihoods, improve agriculture practices and technology, strengthen the governance and management of community assets and infrastructure, which will strengthen household and community resilience to shocks and stresses.

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, is the US Government’s lead coordinator for international disaster assistance, to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance—such as food, water, shelter, emergency healthcare, sanitation and hygiene, and critical nutrition services—to the world’s most vulnerable people.

Since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over US$3.2 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe.

Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote democratic governance. 

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