Harare – A million Zimbabweans benefiting from UN World Food Programme aid are facing hunger due to a lack of funding that has caused deep cuts in assistance. In September, the UN said 2.2 million people in the southern African country faced food shortages, the highest amount in four years, after a drought and poor harvest. The UN had hoped to increase the number of people under its relief operations to 1.8 million, but said it was instead being forced to reduce the number of recipients because of a lack of cash. “In fact, we’ve had to cut rations for a million of our beneficiaries in recent months, and there are likely to be deeper cuts as from next month,” it said. The monthly ration is made up of cooking oil, beans and maize, the staple food. The UN said it needed $60 million (R651 million) to implement full relief operations in the next six months in the impoverished nation of 13 million people. The 2.2 million people in need of food aid is the highest since early 2009, the end of a decade-long economic decline.