Zimbabwe Red Cross Society intensifies food distribution

HARARE, Oct 22, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society said here Tuesday that it has intensified food distribution to needy people to cushion them against the effects of drought.

Information and public relations officer Varaidzo Dongozi pointed out that the distribution of food to HIV infected people and orphans was now being done on a monthly basis instead of quarterly.

"We have increased food rations and intensified the food distribution to mitigate the effects of drought on these vulnerable people," Dongozi added.

She stated that the availability of food to these people was really fundamental at the moment because most people with AIDS take tuberculosis medication, which required one to eat a lot of food. So the society have responded to the challenge by regularizing their food distribution pattern.

The society recently raised a total of 1,172, 000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 21,309 US dollars) from the country's corporate world through a fund-raising campaign in Bulawayo.

The money, Dongozi said, would be used to buy edibles such as maize meal, cooking oil and beans for distribution to more than one million beneficiaries.

She said the food would be distributed through its 23 home- based care centers found in all the country's eight provinces.

Dongozi said her organization was humbled and felt encouraged by the huge response they received from the corporate world.

Dongozi said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies continued to offer humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe in response to its growing food crisis.

About six million people in Zimbabwe require food aid due to drought that hit the country and the rest of the southern African region.

Copyright 2002 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

Copyright (c) 2002 Comtex News Network
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 10/22/2002 13:40:26