DFID Injects £21million For Stress Relief
The United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) today injected a £21.5 million grant to Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZBRF) which seeks to contribute to increased capacities of vulnerable rural communities to withstand shocks and stresses ultimately leading to a reduced need for humanitarian responses and an improvement in their well-being.
speaking at the signing ceremony, Head of DFID in Zimbabwe Annabel Gerry said Climate Change is clearly evident in the country and without adaptability it leads to poverty and other serious challenges particularly in rural areas.
“Climate change is already evident here, this year we have been experiencing hotter days and higher frequency of dry spells during the rainy season.
“Without adapting poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition and environmental degradation will continue to be serious challenges in Zimbabwe particularly the rural areas adding to the existing difficulties of he estimated one 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 ZBRF gives us a unique opportunity to push forward the resilience building agenda in Zimbabwe, which as the break between rains this season has reminded us, remains a huge challenge but also an opportunity for the country,” she said.
UN Resident Coordinator and DFID Representative, Bishow Parajuli said the grant will go far in enabling ZBRF to reach communities living in extreme poverty and high levels of food insecurity because of negative effects of climate change and stressed on the great value of investments.
“Through the ZBRF some 830 000 labour endowed vulnerable people in 18 rural districts are targeted with climate smart agriculture, nutrition and livelihoods, productive asset creation, access to finance and value chain development; and community based natural resources,” Parajuli said.
Giving testimony as one of the consortia that are implementing ZRBF funded resilience projects,Team leader of ZRBF Enhancing Community Resilience and Sustainability (ECRAS) Solomon Mutambara said, ” With the financial support given by ZRBF households and communities have begun to adopt practices that enable them to protect existing ways of making a living, diversifying their sources of income or changing their livelihoods strategies.
“The programme significantly contributed to the strengthening of targeted communities to withstand shocks during the flooding last year and the ensuing drought this year,” testified Mutambara.
For the past 15 years Zimbabwe has experienced social and economic crisis due to effects of climate change or extreme weather conditions and poor economic development leading to high levels of poverty.
According to Government’s Poverty Income Consumption and Expenditure Survey report, the national poverty rate is at 62.6% while the rural poverty rate is at 76% with 30.4% of the rural population living in extreme poverty and 33% of under five children stunted.