LUSAKA –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) this week completed a first distribution of cash to Zambians in urban areas impacted by COVID-19, reaching some 180,000 vulnerable residents in Lusaka and Kafue. The plan is to assist more than 650,000 people over the next six months.
‘’The spread of COVID-19 continues to prevent breadwinners earning a living and disrupt supply chains, pushing up food prices,’’ said WFP Country Representative, Jennifer Bitonde. ‘’This could be disastrous for urban residents who are already living in extreme poverty and can only eat if they earn a wage.’’
WFP is providing the poorest families in densely populated, low-income urban areas with ZMW 400 (US$ 22) a month, enough to meet half their daily food needs. The intention is to offset earnings losses suffered as a result of the slowdown in economic activities.
A robust communications campaign is underway to encourage recipients of the cash to purchase and consume nutritious foods.
‘WFP is grateful to the donors that have funded this response to date”, said Bitonde. “We need more support”.
An additional US$16.8 million is required to underwrite the intervention through the end of the year.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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Sophie Smeulders, WFP/Lusaka, Mob. +260 97 2834194
Paola Di Tommaso, WFP/Lusaka, Mob. +260971020341