Crisis-hit Zim receives 700 tons of maize from SA

Cape Town – Zimbabwe, which is facing the worst food shortages in four years due to drought and a poor harvest, has reportedly received 700 tons of maize as part of the 150 000 tons the government is importing from South Africa.

According to a Herald report, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made confirmed the country had received close to 700 tons of maize and that more grain was expected in the country soon.

Made said the maize would be distributed to different parts of the country for cash sales, while 10% of every delivery would be reserved for the vulnerable such as child-headed families and the elderly.

The country was also expected to receive another 150 000 tons of maize from Zambia soon, according to the report.

The United Nations World Food Programme has since October been working with SA and international aid organisations to provide food assistance to about a fifth of Zimbabwe's 13 million people until the next maize harvest in March/April.

President Robert Mugabe, re-elected last July in an election rejected as a fraud by his main rival, told a conference of his Zanu-PF party last month that some children had dropped out of school in rural Zimbabwe due to hunger.

Reports in the past have also indicated that hundreds of people in the country’s rural areas were surviving on wild fruit amid intensifying hunger.
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