Zimbabwe halts grain distribution programme

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Munashe Mukahlera

Zimbabwe’s government will, at the end of this month, stop distribution of grain to vulnerable groups.

This was said by the country’s Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima in Harare on Thursday.

Around this time last year, the World Food Programme estimated that 4.3 million people in rural Zimbabwe will be food insecure at the peak of the lean season.

But with the country expecting improved yields the government feels there is need to reassess the number of food insecure citizens. To this end, Professor Mavima said an exercise is being conducted to identify eligible beneficiaries. He, however said regular social welfare programmes will continue.

“It is therefore anticipated that most rural households will be able to harvest enough to sustain themselves until around September-October and in some cases throughout the year.

It is in this regard that cabinet resolved that there was need to conduct retargeting of eligible beneficiaries.

Consequently, distribution of grain will temporarily stop as at 30 April, this year.

This is for the transitory food insecure households but the regular social welfare programme will continue,” Prof Mavima said.