CRWRC food aid program nears completion in Zimbabwe

CRWRC is nearing completion of an emergency food distribution program in Zimbabwe in response to the 2008 cholera outbreak. The UN has predicted that nearly 5.1 million Zimbabweans will be at risk from drought-induced hunger this spring.

The United Church of Canada (UCC) took the lead in responding to the crisis along with eight other members of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, including CRWRC. Partners in Zimbabwe had planned to distribute 10,000 tons of food to 120,000 people in response to this need, but that distribution was disrupted following the June 2008 presidential elections and the political and civil instability that followed. More than 2,200 tons of food were placed in storage until the ban on humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe was lifted last October.

"The distribution, through the regional offices of Christian Care Zimbabwe, is now going smoothly again," says Ken Little a senior project manager for CRWRC's international relief team.

Recipient families are receiving seeds for planting and emergency food supplies like corn, soy, oil, and ground nuts to last them until the May harvest. More than 80,000 of these recipients are people who are living with HIV and AIDS, who are also receiving food supplements from CRWRC to fortify their nutrition and improve their immunity.

CRWRC's contribution to these programs is being matched 4-to-1 by the Canadian government and is part of a $7 million Zimbabwe aid program with Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The program is scheduled to conclude at the end of April.

CRWRC's Senior Project Manager for the Zimbabwe program, Ken Little, is available for interviews. He can be contacted at 1-800-730-3490 or 905-336-2920, ext. 246.