Zim food cri­sis deep­ens

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

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

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