Low density suburbs hunger pockets to benefit food aid

By Chipo Gudhe

Residents in Zimbabwe’s low-density suburbs are set to benefit from the government’s cash-for-cereal program, a senior official has announced.

The government recently introduced the urban cash-for-cereal program following the El Niño-induced drought as a social protection measure for vulnerable populations in urban areas. Under the program, 1.7 million urban dwellers are set to benefit from monthly cash transfers of US$8 per individual, equivalent to the price of a 10kg bag of mealie meal.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, in an interview yesterday, revealed that they are considering individuals who are food insecure in low-density suburbs.

“There have been some issues in the urban areas about low-density areas. Our thinking is that we might not normally give food aid in the low-density areas, but you might find pockets here and there where we need to give individuals. We need to support individuals who might not be as endowed as the other people who are living in those areas,” he said.

Initially, the program targeted vulnerable communities mostly in high-density suburbs, with payments delivered through mobile money platforms.

The Zimbabwe Urban Livelihood Assessment Report 2024 indicated that approximately 1.7 million people would be food insecure, higher than the 29 percent recorded last year.

The program is expected to run until March 2025.

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