Zimbabwe

1.6m Zimbabweans need food aid

2012-07-27 13:08
<a href=\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\>Shuttertstock</a>

Shuttertstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Zimbabwe won't starve, VP Mphoko insists
Zimbabwe won't starve, VP Mphoko insists

Zimbabwean Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko says the country won’t starve, despite reports this week that at least 1.5 million people are at risk of going hungry after a fall in the maize production.

Harare - About 1.6 million of Zimbabwe's estimated 12 million people will need food aid during the peak of the dry season due to poor harvests, the UN World Food Programme said on Friday.

The number is 60% higher than the one million who needed food assistance last year, with most of them living in rural areas.

"The United Nations World Food Programme and our partners are gearing up to respond to this large rise in food needs," said WFP country director Felix Bamezon.

"Our field staff are already reporting signs of distress in rural areas, including empty granaries and farmers selling off their livestock to make ends meet."

The WFP said its $119m aid programme, meant to run through to March next year, is facing an $87m shortfall.

The food aid agency said this year's cereal harvest was about one million tons, one-third lower than last year and the lowest since 2009.

"The impact will be felt hardest at the peak of the hunger season, from January to March next year," the WFP said.

"WFP's seasonal assistance programme normally starts in October, but rural people already feeling the effects of the drought."

The "hungry season" is the period when the harvested food runs out, months before the next harvest begins.

Food shortages are being blamed on erratic rainfall and dry spells, limited access to seeds and fertilisers, a reduction in the planted area, poor farming practices and inadequate crop diversification.

The worst-hit areas are the chronically dry regions of southern Zimbabwe.

Once a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe has been facing perennial food shortages in recent years following a slump in food production blamed partly on President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms which saw the seizure of white-owned farms for re-allocation to landless blacks.

The majority of the beneficiaries lacked the skills and means for large-scale farming, and were given little support from the government.

Read more on:    wfp  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
79 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to connect and participate in group related gatherings. You may feel the need to bond or connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.