The Government of Zimbabwe has donated 4 400 metric tonnes of maize grain to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to meet the food needs of refugees living at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Simon Masanga said:
We have international obligations so we have agreed at the international level to host refugees in this country.
As the President said, no one should ever die of hunger in this country, it also includes 16 000 refugees at Tongogara.
I want to put it on record that the government remains committed to improving the welfare of refugees at Tongogara.
According to ZBC News, the partnership, WFP will cover the costs of transport, storage, handling, milling and fortification of the maize.
The WFP Representative and Country Director in Zimbabwe, Francesca Erdelmann said:
We are together to formalise the government’s donation to the United Nations World Food Programme of 4 400 Metric tonnes of maize grain for refugees living in Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge.
WFP thanks the Government of Zimbabwe for this contribution which offers an important lifeline to this vulnerable population.
Around the world, refugees are living further away from home, more than ever before, so we are heartened to see that countries like Zimbabwe are putting forward solutions and working to ensure that refugees have a better life.
Thanks to the maize contribution from the Government of Zimbabwe, refugees will receive monthly transfers of micronutrient-fortified maize meal complemented with cash, aiming to meet their daily nutrition requirements.
The in-kind maize contribution will be twinned with WFP funds to cover the cost of transport, storage, handling, milling and distribution.
The first batch of some 2 170 MTs will be uplifted in the upcoming weeks.
Tongogara Refugee Camp was established in 1984. It was named after Josiah Tongogara, a former commander of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army who died shortly before Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980.
The camp was initially set up to accommodate refugees fleeing the civil war in Mozambique, but it has since also taken in refugees from other countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Somalia.
At its peak in the mid-2000s, the camp was home to over 20,000 refugees, but the numbers have since decreased due to repatriation, resettlement, and voluntary return programs.
The camp is managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in partnership with the government of Zimbabwe and various humanitarian organizations.