by DANAI MWARUMBWA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for an additional US$250 million (R4,1 billion) amid projections of the number of food-insecure Zimbabweans surging by almost 50 percent to 8,6 million.
This represents 60 percent of the population as the country battles drought, economic recession and the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many Zimbabwean families are suffering the ravages of acute hunger, and their plight will get worse before it gets better,” Lola Castro, WFP’s Regional Director for Southern Afric, said
“We need the international community to step up now to help us prevent a potential humanitarian catastrophe.”
COVID-19 is aggravating an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe. More than 2 800 cases and 40 deaths have been confirmed.
A nationwide lockdown imposed in April, reinforced last week, has worsened massive joblessness in urban areas.
Rural hunger is accelerating as unemployed migrants return to their villages.
Vital remittances from neighbouring countries mostly from South Africa have dropped.
Zimbabwe has produced 1,1 million tonnes of the staple maize down from last year’s already poor 2,4 million tonne yield.
Because of funding challenges, WFP will now only reach 700 000 of 1,8 million intended food aid recipients.
Recurrent droughts and a chaotic land redistribution exercise have killed commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe, formerly hailed as Africa’s breadbasket.
– CAJ News