by Alison Balfe
GOAL is currently providing food aid to thousands of people in two districts in Manicaland Province affected by the recent Cyclone, Idai. Today, Friday, August 9th, an increase in food prices coupled with the unavailability of fuel may hamper the implementation of relief programmes in the coming weeks.
Drought, the impact of Cyclone Idai, and economic and currency issues are contributing to increased and concerning levels of food insecurity in the country.
The U.N. has said that 2.3 million people in rural Zimbabwe need emergency food aid now, and predicted this figure would increase to 5.5 million during the lean season up to March next year. This amounts to a third of the population estimated at 15.1 million people.
GOAL is appealing to donor governments to support the United Nations appeal for €295 million in aid to avert what it says could be a serious humanitarian disaster.
Cyclone Idai destroyed vast areas of crops in the east of the country in March. This has been compounded by poor rains and drought affecting the 2018-2019 harvest, resulting in less than 50% production of the average annual maize crop.
GOAL Country Director in Zimbabwe, Gabriella Prandini, said: “It’s been a very challenging a year for Zimbabweans with the combination of a drought leading to a failed harvest, the impact of the cyclone and the economic crisis. People affected by Cyclone Idai continue to require support for food and restoration of livelihoods. We call on the donor governments to dig deep and to provide the funding urgently needed to prevent a major humanitarian disaster.”
GOAL has been working in Zimbabwe since 2002 and was one of the first responders following the impact of Cyclone Idai. It continues to be one of the leading NGO players in the cyclone response reaching over 120,000 vulnerable people with food aid.
GOAL continues to support those in need in Manicaland Province in the east of the country, including those communities affected by Cyclone Idai. GOAL’s programmes in Chipinge, Chimanimani, Buhera and Mutare include food security, water and sanitation and nutrition in partnership with WFP, UNICEF and ECHO. This is in addition to its ongoing long-term programmes focused on agricultural livelihoods and nutrition funded by Irish Aid.