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Debunking the effectiveness of in-kind transfers in alleviating urban household food insecurity in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Sibonokuhle Ndlovu, Moreblessings Mpofu and Philani Moyo

Development Southern Africa, 2020, vol. 37, issue 1, 55-69

Abstract: Urban household food insecurity has become a widespread dilemma in Zimbabwe. The paper investigates the extent to which various in-kind transfer programmes in two Bulawayo townships Zimbabwe, have attempted to enhance access to adequate food by poor urbanites. It also pays attention to the influence of in-kind transfers on food consumption behaviours in two ways: first, in relation to the number of meals consumed and second, in increasing quantities of food consumed by poor households. Data was collected through 10 key informant interviews, 50 semi-structured in-depth interviews and 237 questionnaires. Contrary to popular beliefs, we find that in-kind transfer programmes in the two townships have not meaningfully alleviated household food insecurity due to the distribution of incomplete food baskets, distances to distribution points, targeting systems, quantities of food items received and irregular distributions. We recommend the allocation of more resources for alleviating urban poverty and food insecurity.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2019.1584031

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