An inquiry investigating dependency on food aid and coping mechanisms in the advent of not receiving food aid in uMzingwane District, Zimbabwe
Keywords:Food Aid, Deependency, Coping Mechanisms
This paper interrogates the issue of dependency on food aid, a narrative that had become ingrained in the culture of uMzingwane between 2006 and 2010. The paper offers an analysis of how having food aid over a protracted period cultivated dependency on the food aid. Undoubtedly, food aid significantly reduced starvation, and as indicated by most respondents, literally saved the lives of many vulnerable people. It filled a void created by the protracted droughts and famine, which eroded community and household livelihood activities leaving them in dire poverty. However, the study also suggests that food aid failed to alleviate poverty, but simply managed a symptom of poverty, hunger, and if left alone, the vulnerable would never be freed from poverty and will always be dependent on food aid. Not everyone benefitted from food aid, but everyone suffered the effects of climate change, poor and erratic rainfall and droughts. As such, the paper also investigates how people in uMzingwane coped with food insecurity apart from relying on food aid. Mitigating against food security was not the default setting, but many proved to be more resilient and worked much harder than others to change their circumstances.
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