A survey has revealed the Manicaland Province has the highest poverty prevalence rate with 70 percent of people living in abject poverty.

According to the Zimbabwe Atlas of Poverty Survey released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, (Zimstat), Manicaland Province, despite its abundant resources such as diamonds, has 70 percent of its population living in abject poverty.

The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Co-operatives Development, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni revealed this during the stakeholders workshop for the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Poverty Alleviation Project held in Mutare.

She said the $7.6 million OPEC Fund for international development loan for projects is expected to reduce the levels of poverty in three provinces: Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland North.

The Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandi Chimene said the news is disturbing particularly for a province endowed with such rich and vast resources that include diamonds as well as being the hub of tourism centres.

Various ministries are rolling out poverty reduction programmes and the $7.6 million OPEC fund aimsĀ  at bankrolling poverty alleviation projects, such as supporting commercial livestock rearing projects, savings and credit co-operatives societies and the establishment of an entrepreneurial training institute, among others.