EU gives Zim additional $8,4mln in drought relief

EU gives Zim additional $8,4mln in drought relief

HARARE, November 16 (The Source) – The European Union on Wednesday said it had allocated an additional $8,4 million to shore up Zimbabwe’s food security in response to a ‘deteriorating situation’ in the country.

Zimbabwe is suffering from an El Nino induced drought which has left at least 4,1 million people needing food aid.

In February, Zimbabwe declared a state of disaster in rural areas hit by the  drought and appealed to local businesses and charities for $1,5 billion in aid.

The EU and its 28 member states have contributed a total of $112,4 million in response and the additional funding will be channelled through the multi-donor Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) which is managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it said.

The funding will help build ‘resilience capacities of target communities,’ the EU said.

“When we look at resilience, we need to look at capacities and coping strategies of people and communities, and explore ways to strengthen them so to ensure that all are better able to adjust, react and bounce back when shocks occur,” said Philippe Van Damme, EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe.

“It is about protecting key assets and gains, such as livestock and other farming inputs and tools, and about preventing anyone from falling into wider destitution and poverty.”

The aid package is expected to benefit about 3,1 million people until March next year.