Cognisant of the fact that following COVID-19-induced hardships, most families in Zimbabwe are facing hunger and starvation, the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) is extending its giving hand by distributing food hampers to deserving families across the country.
Speaking during the food distribution exercise in Chitungwiza on Monday 3 May 2021, Mr Can Bilgic, the Second Secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Zimbabwe reiterated the European country’s commitment to uplifting the lives of the Zimbabwean people.
“As the Turkish Embassy, we are committed through Turkish agencies like the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) to partner Zimbabwe in its social, political and economic development aspirations.
“We realise that COVID-19 has brought untold suffering to many people especially given the prevailing economic challenges brought by the ravaging COVID-19. In this gesture of love, we have seen it fit to distribute food hampers to the needy and deserving people in various provinces in Zimbabwe,” Mr Bilgic said.
One of the beneficiaries in Chitungwiza who identified herself as Mirriam Jimu (45) said the gesture by the Turkish came in handy since she and her family is yet to harvest.
“While the 2020-21 farming season was good in terms of adequate rains, most of us poor families in urban areas are facing debilitating food shortages. We have small plots of maize crop in open spaces but we haven’t harvested yet. The food hampers from TIKA will go a long way in helping us to feed our families so that we can remain healthy and be able to work for the development of the country,” Mrs Jimu said.
On Monday, the Turkish agency distributed 250 food hampers in Chitungwiza, a city located 25km from the capital city, Harare and distributed the same number of food hampers in Concession, Mashonaland Central province on the same day.
On Tuesday, they proceeded to Masvingo, 270km from Harare where they distributed 250 food hampers at Boroma before proceeding to Buhera in Manicaland province with the same number of food hampers.
Today, the team is in Mbizo, Kwekwe, in Midlands Province with the same number of food hampers. On Thursday, they will be in Bulawayo with the same number of food hampers. Afterwards, they will travel to Macheke in Mashonaland East Province on Friday before proceeding to Kadoma in Mashonaland West Province with the same number of food hampers at each distribution centre.
In March this year, the World Food Programme reported that Hunger in Zimbabwe’s urban areas had increased over the past year with 2.4 million people struggling to meet their basic food needs, according to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report coordinated by the Food and Nutrition Council.
The UN agency said the lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 have dealt a severe blow to poor urban communities, many of whom were daily wage earners living hand to mouth. The food shortages extended to rural areas because there were poor rainfall amounts the previous season.