BIC churches in Zimbabwe distribute MCC Aid
Akron, Pa. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has provided the Zimbabwe Brethren in Christ Church’s food relief program with $25,000 for assistance to farmers who are struggling with drought and economic turmoil. The immediate goal of the project is to purchase and distribute 25 metric tons of sorghum and maize seeds to 2,000 farm families in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland South province. Recent rains have given hope that next year’s crops will not fail, which makes the distribution of seed especially timely.
Working in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, MCC is also making $500,000 available for food distribution. The Canadian International Development Agency is matching this contribution to increase the total project funds to $2.5 million.
Relief workers are distributing a six-month supply of corn, beans, cooking oil, and other food to about 120,000 people in areas throughout Zimbabwe.
Drought is not the only problem affecting Zimbabwean farmers. The national economic collapse has put most Zimbabweans out of work and made their money virtually worthless. According to the United Nations, Zimbabwe’s average life expectancy has fallen to less than 37 years, from 61 years in 1990. These conditions are dividing families as able-bodied adults leave Zimbabwe to seek work in neighboring South Africa.
The Zimbabwe Brethren in Christ Church, with 33,000 members, is the largest of the BIC national conferences worldwide.