Govt, NGOs plan possible collaboration to address food security, women empowerment


The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has announced a possible collaboration with the Non-governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC), in the drought response programme.

The collaboration aims to address the pressing issues of food security and women empowerment as a result of crop failure.

This would be done through the implementation of a comprehensive emergency response that incorporated women’s participation in the wetland cropping component for winter maize production.

This came to light during a courtesy call on the Community Development and Social Services Minister, Doreen Mwamba, by the NGOCC team.

The team was led by its Board Chairperson, Grace Sinkamba.

Mwamba said government and NGOCC could maximise resources, and expertise, and make a more significant impact on the lives of those affected by the current drought through emergency food distribution, agricultural support, literacy training for women, and community empowerment initiatives.

“There has been some operational gaps in terms of women’s collaboration with regard to empowerment programmes which should be addressed as a matter of urgency to enhance developmental partnerships at various levels not only to ensure access to food but also to empowerment of women in vulnerable communities through the winter cropping programme,” she said.

She proposed holding monthly meetings with NGOCC, to measure programme implementation progress on empowerment and women-related matters.

Mwamba also proposed the holding of a women’s indaba to create a platform for women across the country to dialogue on issues affecting them, and how to find solutions to various challenges such as early marriages, gender inequality, and women empowerment among others.

NGOCC Board Chairperson, Grace Sinkamba, welcomed the collaboration which she said was long overdue, considering the developmental and empowerment gaps affecting women in the country.

“The absence of a Ministry dedicated to women’s affairs, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is key and integral in addressing issues affecting women which the government is addressing through the provision of various social protection programmes,” Sinkamba said.

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