What WFP Programme and Office launch in Zanzibar stores to govt, nationals

WHICHEVER way you will look at it, Zanzibar, like the rest of Mainland Tanzania and precisely any developing country in the world faces a variety of different complex development challenges, including exposure to natural and man-made hazards associated with climate change and coastal land degradation.

This and other challenges require concerted joint efforts from UN agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders to support and complement so that the government’s interventions bear fruits.

On the note, Zanzibar Minister of State, Second Vice President Office, Hamza Hassan Juma said: “Madam Sarah Gordon Gibson (WFP Country Director and Representative), we cordially welcome WFP to Zanzibar and please accept our congratulations for this timely decision as you start your new programme here as you already mentioned in your remarks.” This was in reference to the organisation setting a base in the Island.

In response Ms Sarah said: “We are today embarking on a five-year partnership journey between the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the World Food Programme.

She narrated how the WFP’s engagement in Zanzibar was in 1980s, when Samia Suluhu Hassan was working with them, adding: “Today, she is the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and we at WFP are very proud that once she was part of our family, and today she is the first woman President in the history of Tanzania. “

“While we celebrate today the expansion of our programme in Zanzibar, we have actually been interacting and working with the Government over the past year, first during our consultations when we were formulating WFP’s Country Strategic Plan, and when we started the disaster preparedness and response programme, as well as the women’s economic empowerment project, which I had the pleasure to launch here in October. I also had the honour to meet with Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council in May.

In July this year, WFP started the implementation of its five-year Country Strategic Plan which will be contributing to Zanzibar Development Plan, 2021-2026. WFP’s Plan will support the economic, social, and environmental issues of food and nutrition security for the people we serve, through a set of activities that will contribute to: i) sustaining inclusive economic growth through market-based interventions, ii) strengthening human capital and increased affordability of healthy diets, and iii) promoting climate change adaptation and environmental restoration.

We will be investing in national sustainable solutions and one of the best ways to do so is to strengthen national capacities. At the same time, it is important to recognise the strengths and opportunities in existing national capacities, and build on these and learn from them – so that capacity building becomes a reciprocal function and a shared relationship.

Our Country Strategic Plan is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for 2022-2027, which was developed under the guidance of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Zlatan Milisic. The Framework represents the UN business plan on how the United Nations system will be supporting the governments’ priorities in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania towards the achievement of the development goals by 2030.


If we want to truly transform the path to the 2030 Agenda, none of us can do it alone, we must combine our forces – the government, private sector, development partners, innovators and WFP – and accelerate our efforts. Sustainable Development Goal 2, which is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and which is at the heart of WFP’s mandate, is key to achieving the overall Agenda 2030. In view of the inter-linkages between the SDGs, achieving SDG2 supports progress towards other SDGs and vice versa.

Let us also recognise the role that science, technology, and innovation can play in achieving the sustainable development goals. WFP will support the Government of Zanzibar to embark on the use of modern technologies and innovations in strengthening its systems and enhancing efficiencies in disaster preparedness and response activities. Today, WFP will handover to you, Honourable Minister, drones for use by the Disaster Management Commission to carry out surveillance missions in mapping hazards such as floods, crop pests and diseases, as well as monitoring dry spells caused by effects of climate change.

To all partners who are here today, thank you for coming. Your presence shows your commitment to recognising the importance of addressing food and nutrition security through different initiatives, local initiatives that are tailored to the Zanzibari context, covering disaster preparedness and response, agriculture, nutrition, climate change and education. We should and must empower and give voice to women and young people in everything we do if we want to bring a lasting change in their lives.

On his part, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Zlatan Milišić said: “The UN very much appreciates the long-standing cooperation with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar which has enabled smooth implementation of UN supported interventions on the Isles, we are proud to have a strong presence in Zanzibar.

“A total of 17 UN agencies funds and programmes support activities in Zanzibar, 11 are resident. They are all implementing programmes in a variety of different sectors. We are very excited that WFP will now be among the resident UN agencies in Zanzibar, this brings us closer to the beneficiaries we try to serve.

“The UN works in close collaboration with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and CSOs on:-improving access to clean and safe water; promoting sanitation and comprehensive health services; ending violence against women and children; championing women’s economic empowerment.

“The list also includes generating evidence-based development policies; supporting employment creation;    strengthening social protection mechanisms; on blue economy; capacity building for coordination and reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and national development plan. In a nutshell, all these try to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Elaborating, he further said the programme will be catalytic in bringing sustainable and transformative change for economic empowerment of rural women in Zanzibar, significantly contributing to Zanzibar’s development agenda.

Adding: “Recently there was a UN Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI) mission in Tanzania, which visited Zanzibar form 19-26 October. The mission consulted Government entities and other stakeholders in Unguja and Pemba in identifying capacity gaps in emergency preparedness and response – from national to shehia level. The support provided to the mission was exemplary and we reached consensus on strategic priority interventions on preparedness, mitigation, and adaptation measures.

WFP was one of the co-leads of that CADRI mission in Tanzania and is also a lead agency in our UNCT on emergency preparedness and response.

As many of you will be aware, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the UN launched this year the UNSDCF 2022-2027, which will guide our work in Tanzania for the next five years, in support of the national development priorities, both on the Mainland and in Zanzibar

We thank the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar for being extensively involved in the designing the UNSDCF. This ensured that it is aligned with government priorities as articulated in the Zanzibar Development Plan (ZADEP) and other policy frameworks. Now that we have begun implementing it, we are happy that our continued cooperation will also extend to the implementation of the WFP programme that is being launched today.”

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