Recipients of WFP's seasonal targeted assistance line up to receive EcoCASH payments in Gokwe South.

Copywright:WFP/Rachel Chavhi

Cash Transfer Scheme Boosts Zimbabwe’s Rural Economy

Lower Gweru -  WFP is using cash and vouchers in Zimbabwe to tackle hunger where food is available in the market place but where most people cannot afford to buy. In the past, WFP handed out cash to beneficiaries waiting patiently in line. Nowadays, the organization transfers cash and food vouchers via mobile phone. This method is more convenient for the recipient and cheaper for WFP. It’s also a good way of injecting money into cash-poor areas.

Overview

In recent years, food production in Zimbabwe has been devastated by a number of factors including natural disasters and economic and political instability. Recurrent drought, a series of poor harvests, high unemployment (estimated at more than 60%), restructuring of the agriculture sector and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate – at 14.7 per cent, the fifth highest in the world - have all contributed to increasing levels of vulnerability and acute food insecurity since 2001. This situation has necessitated large-scale humanitarian food relief operations in the country.

 

 

 
 
Empowered Lives

After drought and other shocks, it is vital that vulnerable households bounce back quickly. WFP helps communities build assets such as irrigation systems and earth dams to bolster resilience. Here, Topora villagers, once dependant on food assistance, harvest fish for the first time in a pond WFP helped create through a Cash/Food for Assets programme.

Copyright: WFP/Tomson Phiri

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