THE United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has availed US$5,7 million through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) towards supporting more than 150 000 food insecure households in the country’s urban and rural areas.

This brings USAid’s donation to over US$45 million since last year.

At least 42% of the population is said to be food insecure after loss of informal jobs.

It is estimated that approximately 5,3 million people across the country are food insecure despite a bumper harvest this season.

In a statement Monday, USAid acting mission director Zeb Simpson promised continued support to vulnerable Zimbabweans through food assistance and equipping them with skills to avert challenges.

“The United States will continue to bring critical food assistance to most vulnerable Zimbabweans. At the same time, we are working to equip households and communities with the skills and resources they need to overcome the shocks and challenges they face,” Simpson said.

About 140 000 households across 19 urban domains will be assisted, while 14 000 rural households in eight districts will also benefit.

WFP country director Francesca Erdelmann said resilience-building activities had played a huge role in improving livelihoods, thereby providing people with a source of food security.

“We have seen that resilience-building activities are key to helping people move beyond a cycle of dependence and, as such, both programmes aim to improve livelihood opportunities and provide a regular source of food and nutrition security to people experiencing hardship. Importantly, the programmes are community-led and focus on the development and maintenance of collective assets in addition to providing valuable life skills such as savings and financial literacy that yields longer-term benefits,” she said.