UN warns of 'bleak' outlook for drought-hit Zimbabwe

2016-05-09 21:44

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

Harare - Zimbabwe faces a growing food supply crisis, with a $290 million shortfall in funding desperately required to feed up to 4.5 million people in need by next year, the United Nations warned on Monday.

A regional drought worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon has hit Zimbabwe hard, with Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi also affected as thousands of cattle die, reservoirs are depleted and crops destroyed.

"The general outlook is the food security situation in Zimbabwe from now right up to March 2017 is bleak," UN World Food Programme (WFP) country director Eddie Rowe said at a media briefing in Harare.

"Rains received in March-April have marginally improved the situation. For most, however, it was too late to revive failed crops. There are quite a number of districts that are still feeling the full brunt of El Nino."

President Robert Mugabe in February declared a state of disaster in rural areas hit by drought in Zimbabwe, where the moribund economy has worsened the shortages.

"Of the required $360 million in the response plan, approximately $70 million has, thus far, been received," United Nations Development Programme representative Bishow Parajuli said at the briefing.

"People in need will increase and food insecurity in the rural population will fluctuate from 30% in April to 49% - approximately 4.5 million - during the peak of the lean season from January to March 2017."

A regional drought report by the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Monday the acute child malnutrition rate in southern Zimbabwe was the highest in 15 years at 2.3 percent.

"Children are dropping out of school and waking up in the middle of the night so that they can find and collect clean water," the report said.

"In Zimbabwe, 6 000 children in Matabeleland North have dropped out of school, citing hunger and the need to help out with house or farm work."

A former breadbasket, Zimbabwe has suffered perennial shortages in recent years and has relied on importing grain from neighbouring countries.

Last week, wildlife authorities asked local farmers and private game rangers to buy wild animals to save them from starvation in national game reserves.

Read more on:    ocha  |  wfp  |  mozambique  |  zambia  |  zimbabwe

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.