WFP extends operational presence to Zanzibar

THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has officially expanded its programme to Zanzibar by opening its office and announcing projects that will be implemented in the isles, under its new five-year Country Strategic Plan.

The strategic plan, which runs from this year to 2027 aims at contributing to sustaining inclusive economic growth through market-based interventions, is strengthening human capital, increasing affordability of healthy diets, as well as promoting climate crisis adaptation and environmental restoration in Zanzibar and Mainland.

“We are grateful that WFP is now in Zanzibar,” Mr Hamza Hassan Juma, Minister of State in the Second Vice President’s Office (Policy, Coordination and House of Representatives affairs) said at an event to mark the official opening of the office.

He said that, WFP’s physical presence in Zanzibar is an indication of their commitments to supporting the isles’ long-term development plans.

The event held here on Wednesday was also attended by officials from the government and various organisations and institutions including UN agencies, Civil Society Organisations and the general public.

The launch of the office also aims at strengthening WFP’s strategic partnership with Tanzania, which has lasted for almost six decades.

“I am delighted that we are expanding our programme to Unguja and Pemba. We are committed to supporting the government and the people in isles in achieving the Zanzibar Development Vision 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Sarah Gordon-Gibson, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Tanzania.

“I also wish to thank UNICEF for hosting WFP’s Office within its premises”, Ms Gibson said.

In a related development, WFP has donated Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones, to the Disaster Management Commission in the Second Vice President’s Office for the surveillance of areas prone to disasters, particularly floods and cyclones, she said.

WFP will also provide training to the Commission to impart knowledge and skills to become certified drone pilots.

Receiving the drones, Minister Juma noted that, he is looking forward to WFP’s support in streamlining Disaster Risk Reduction in district development plans and budgets, to ensure sustainability of the activities through government financing.

WFP, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UN Women and the Zanzibar government recently launched the joint Rural Women Economic Empowerment Programme, which will provide livelihoods, and strengthen the resilience of women in rural and coastal areas involved in agriculture.

Principle Secretary (PS) in the Second Vice President Office Dr Islam Seif, and the PS in the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries Dr Aboud Suleiman Jumbe  also  thanked   WFP for opening an office in Zanzibar saying it is a milestone in achieving development goals, as they urged other UN agencies and development partners to do the same.

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