Hunting Facts, Telling Truth

WFP invests US$12m for lean season

WFP invests US$12m for lean season

Senior Staff Writer

The World Food Programme (WFP) has invested US$12m towards the lean period in a bid to provide most vulnerable families with food during the peak of the food insecure period.

The lean season begins in October and ends in March but the peak of lean season starts from January to March and WFP will this year start its lean season interventions in January due to the self-sufficiency in the country.

The investment was a significant drop from last year’s US$40m resource kitty following increased yields during the past season.

Speaking at the sidelines of the 2023 World Food Day joint celebrations at Bwerudza Irrigation Scheme in Chipinge, WFP representative and country director Francesca Erdelmann told ZimHubNews that United Nations agency has distributed vast resources during the 2023/2024 summer cropping season to strengthen rural population resilience against weather vagaries.

“We have around US$12m for this coming lean season, a drop from US$40m last October due to good harvests.

“We usually would wait for the season to evolve then we take the stock of the most affected then we take action accordingly. But this year we would like to take action during the time when the El Nino is expected to occur, which is called anticipatory action,” Erdelmann said.

She said WFP is ahead of the challenge.

“WFP has invested US$5m towards water, seeds and climate services and we have another US$2.5m to expand that package from other donors and this is a new way of doing things, this is a new way of looking at risks and vulnerabilities before they become a problem. We have desisted from waiting for a problem to occur then taking action afterwards,” Erdelmann said.

Erdelmann said the impending El Niño season is a reminder of the challenges the communities face, which go far beyond poor crop production and food insecurity, but, in fact, threaten lives.

She said poor access to water increases the burden of water collection, which disproportionately falls on women and young girls who spend many hours every day travelling long distances to fetch water.

This affects their education, increases the risks of violence and limits their opportunities.

Insufficient water also increases the risk of disease due to poor sanitation infrastructure and practices.

“To mitigate these challenges, we are actively working on plans that will reduce the impact of El Niño. Our commitment to helping vulnerable communities remains unwavering, and together with the government, donors and partners, we will face these challenges head-on,” she said.

“Through our El Niño Impact Mitigation and Anticipatory Action Approach, we will support communities to safeguard and strengthen access to water, enhance climate-smart agricultural practices and strengthen delivery and use of climate services. Many of these assets, such as solarised boreholes, reserve water tanks, drip irrigation systems, and micro-jet irrigated nurseries, are water-related, as water availability remains crucial for the livelihood activities of rural communities.”

In addition, WFP will support selected communities with the provision of drought tolerant seeds and the associated fertilisers in coordination with and complementary to the national Pfumvudza programme.

Together with the partners, the UN agency wants to ensure communities are better prepared to withstand and mitigate potential climatic impacts today and in the future.

“Our partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation ensures that jointly we can achieve greater coverage and impact than any of us could do by ourselves. Since the beginning of our operations in Zimbabwe, WFP continues to work in very close partnership with the government of Zimbabwe,” Erdelmann said.

Turning to the 2023 World Food Day joint celebrations at Bwerudza Irrigation Scheme, the heart of a community in Chipinge, Erdelmann said the local community carries a lesson of resilience and strength to bounce back in the face of adversity.

 “Let us also learn from Bwerudza, a community that turned tribulations into triumphs by harnessing the power of water to provide life and sustenance,” she said.


The people of this community experienced Cyclone Idai in 2019, which sadly destroyed lives and livelihoods.

In recent years, the impact of climate change on water resources has been increasingly evident.

“Our once-reliable water sources are becoming more unpredictable, leading to challenges in agriculture and food security. Yet, in the face of these challenges, I want to commend the many remarkable communities here in Chipinge and across Zimbabwe for your unwavering spirit and the tremendous efforts you’ve invested in building resilience. The work you do, day in and day out, is a testament to your dedication and strength,” she said.

“Through irrigation schemes such as these, we can see how water gives life not only to the food grown on this land but to the communities who benefit from it. It’s incredible to see irrigation schemes like Bwerudza flourishing, providing sustenance for your families and surplus to support your communities. We have seen women empowered by such initiatives and children meet their nutritional requirements.”

WFP said the UN agency will continue working with the people of Zimbabwe in their transformation journey.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy