February 11, 2020

Cash handouts for Zimbabwe’s drought victims

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

The drought currently being experienced in Zimbabwe has left millions of people distressed.

As a response to the people’s plight, the Zimbabwean government has received US$5 million from the Africa Risk Capacity (ARC) which will see the affected people getting assistance through harmonized cash transfers.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube told ZTN that treasury had paid the required premium in December last year to get cover in 2020.

“We paid the insurance premium of one million United States dollars with ARC in order to protect the country against the drought effects. We shall be paying more in the future,” shared the minister.

“This is the way to go. We should not only seek extra resources from elsewhere to enable us to import grain. This route is another way to ensure that we have food security in the country.”

Professor Ncube also revealed how the beneficiaries would get aid.

“Cover from ARC will be targeting those who have suffered due to drought. The cover will mainly be in the form of cash handouts,” he said adding that Government will start drawing down from the facility in April.

“Depending on how the paperwork is processed we should be able to begin drawing in April but definitely before the month of June 2020.

“Once we use it, we will buy more insurance and when the sources allow we can even up the premiums in order to access more from ARC,” he highlighted.

ARC is a specialized Agency of the African Union established to help African governments improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.

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