Cash assistance helps stem domestic violence

Review & Mail Writer

The World Food Programme (WFP) is utilising its urban cash assistance to vulnerable women in Zimbabwe to fight against domestic violence.

Under the cash assistance programme, women in poor urban areas are given electronic vouchers to buy household food requirements and this is meant to empower women registered to be able to contribute to food security at home and remove reliance on men.

Up to a third of Zimbabweans in towns and cities are unable to afford a nutritious diet – food tends to be available but not affordable, the WFP says. Cash support from the World Food Programme (WFP) helps. It enables people to buy food and other essentials at a time when inflation and soaring prices otherwise restrict people’s access to money, playing into the hands of food insecurity. 

Review & Mail has witnessed the system work, with vulnerable women from Harare’s Epworth – often accompanied by their children – enthusiastically making purchases of basic goods at Queensdale shoppinng centre where large supermarket chains are well stocked and accept the WFP vouchers.

Other international donor agencies have also employed the system.

In a recent report, WFP said through the Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation (SAFE) programme which aims to prevent violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe, it partnered with Musasa Project – a local activist group – to provide post gender violence care services to survivors of gender-based violence.

The services include counselling, legal protection services, referrals to higher levels of care, and emergency transport to access specialized services. Services are provided through different facilities including a static and a mobile one-stop centre, and a toll-free line.

“WFP continually works to provide technical assistance to social protection and emergency preparedness and response institutions in Zimbabwe, aimed at enhancing the social and humanitarian framework,” WFP said.

WFP participated in a post payment verification exercise conducted by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare in Umzingwane district under the Harmonized Social Cash Transfer Programme (HSCT).

This provided an opportunity for WFP to better understand the HSCT programme and share experiences on the delivery of cash in urban areas.

WFP collaborated with UNICEF, FAO and the Ministry of Health and Child Care to strengthen the nutrition emergency preparedness and response to national, provincial and district nutritionists. Trainings were undertaken to ensure better integration of nutrition into emergency programming.

The sessions culminated in the development of a draft National Plan for Nutrition in Emergencies.

The organisation says it is strengthening the communities’ resilience to future shocks and stressors through provision of tailored trainings and the creation of productive assets, while simultaneously providing food assistance to address immediate food needs.

In August, WFP carried out double distributions of food to targeted communities.

Leave a Reply