MBABANE -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is grateful a generous contribution of €500,000 (US$ 423,500) from the European Union (EU) that will help meet the needs of 53,600 vulnerable Swazi households through cash transfers.
The EU's funding will be used to scale up WFP's cash transfers operations to reach families hardest-hit by the impacts of a poor harvest, rising food prices and the prolonged secondary effects of COVID-19 in the rural, urban and peri-urban areas of the Manzini, Lubombo and Hhohho regions. According to a recent government-led assessment by the Eswatini Vulnerability Assessment Committee, close to 27 percent of Eswatini's population (317,000) will be at high risk of hunger over the next six months.
Monthly cash transfers will be delivered via a mobile money platform established in partnership with mobile service provider MTN. The money can then be used to purchase food items at selected stores that are owned and operated by local retailers, which in turn helps boost the local market.
"We thank the European Union for continuing their support, allowing WFP and the government to provide much needed assistance to vulnerable people affected by COVID-19 and climate shocks", said Deepak Shah, WFP's Head of Office in Eswatini. "This timely contribution will help WFP change lives by improving the food security and nutrition of children, orphans, pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as people living with HIV and AIDS."
The Cash-Based Transfer programme will also continue to integrate Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) to provide knowledge and information on basic hygiene for prevention of COVID 19, as well as knowledge on nutritional practices to enhance purchasing choices for households to meet their nutritional needs.
Sakhile Nsingwane, WFP/Mbabane, Mob. +268 2409 6600; firstname.lastname@example.org