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UK injects $30m to fight poverty

THE United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) yesterday unveiled a $30 million grant to the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF), which is expected to cushion rural communities prone to poverty and food insecurity among other threats.

Tinotenda Munyukwi

The grant was officially presented to ZRBF by DFID head in Zimbabwe, Annabel Gerry who said the funding was a resilience building agenda in the country which would assist in curbing some long standing problems faced by rural communities emanating from climate change.

“Climate change is already evident here [and] without adapting, poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition and environmental degradation will continue to be serious challenges in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas, adding to the existing difficulties of the estimated 1 million Zimbabweans who are currently chronically food insecure.

“Over 120 000 people have been supported to cope with the effect of climate change through various interventions and ZRBF gives us a unique opportunity to push forward the resilience building agenda in Zimbabwe,” she said.

With the current grant, the total amount of money injected by the British government for a period up to 2021, in combating the effects of climate change across most rural areas through the ZRBF comes to 25 million pounds.

Ministry of Agriculture economics and markets director Clemence Bwenje said the motive behind the grant resonated with government’s efforts in fighting the negative effects of climate change that have ravaged many of the country’s rural communities.

“This programme will improve households and communities capacities to withstand shock and stresses. These activities resonate well with the food security and nutrition cluster outcomes of ZimAsset, whose thrust is to create a self-sufficient and food surplus for Zimbabwe, in this new dispensation, our appetite for these contributions remain very high.”

The ZRBF is a five-year multi-donor fund managed by UNDP and in its quest to contribute to increased capacities of vulnerable rural communities, some 830 000 labour endowed vulnerable people in 18 rural districts are targeted through various interventions.

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