Zimbabwe food crisis an emergency, says UN

Zimbabwe food crisis an emergency, says UN
Published: 21 July 2019 (86 Views)
Zimbabwe's food situation is moving from a crisis to an emergency because of El Nino-induced drought and the ongoing economic meltdown, the United Nations has said.

Plaxedes Chibura of Epworth, located about 20km south-east of Harare, is in desperate need of food aid.

"We have resorted to just one meal a day," said Chibura (48), who struggles to care for her grandchildren.

"At times, it's just the vegetables we get in our garden. We are struggling to get money to buy food. I wish donors would bring us food, especially for the children, as I am not employed.

"Even school fees I can't pay. One of them [the children] was not well, so we incurred medical bills."

According to a recent report by UN aid agencies and the government, Zimbabwe needs about $218 million to stave off hunger for about 5,5 million people between now and April 2020, when the next harvest is expected. That's assuming there will be enough rain.

Bishow Parajuli, the coordinator of UN agencies in Zimbabwe, urged farmers to invest in irrigation and small grains as part of efforts to reduce the effects of climate.

The world body says Zimbabwe is among several southern African nations hit by extreme weather in the 2018-19 growing season.

The drought has devastated crops — especially naize, which is used to make the staple food sadza, a thick porridge that is served with relish.

In addition, Cyclone Idai in March destroyed many crops a few weeks before harvest time.

"Unfortunately, we are moving from a crisis to an emergency, which is pretty serious," Parajuli said.

"Also the economic challenges facing the country, people have lost their income. The situation is really precarious."

The drought has also affected the water supply. Michael Chideme, the spokesman for Harare City Council, says two of the capital's reservoirs have dried out and others are following suit. Water rationing has begun.

Zimbabwe's hopes now depend on "the generosity of the international community", Parajuli said.

World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said the crisis was likely to last until September with a further deterioration into December that would widen the impact to more than 4,7 million people.

He said the hunger period would peak at the height of the lean season, from January through March 2020, when 59% of rural households, or over 5.5 million people, would be food-insecure.

"Given the scale and scope of the food insecurity in Zimbabwe," Verhoosel said, "WFP is planning to scale up to assist over two million people" by the peak of the lean season during early next year.

Until then, teams will continue providing food assistance to the most vulnerable populations, while also helping communities to build resilience to climate change and future shock impacts.

Over the next nine months, the WFP urgently requires $173 million to meet these needs.


- VOA/ UN News

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Patrick Zhuwao reveals how Mnangagwa captured the judiciary

by Patrick Zhuwao | 26 August 2019 | 100 Views

New fuel prices for different cities announced

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 August 2019 | 102 Views

Cain Mathema and Police Boss challenged over abductions

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 August 2019 | 67 Views

Food relief for urban poor

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 60 Views

'Sanctions stifle Zimbabwe reforms'

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 51 Views

Sasai, Ecocash bureau de change to marry

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 50 Views

Govt reviews 60 IPP licences

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 53 Views

Protests warning for MDC-Alliance

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 75 Views

US comedian Steve Harvey in Victoria Falls?

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 52 Views

Dynamos, Chicken Inn in stalemate

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 48 Views

Mangudya's Treasury Bills get massive investor thumbs up

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 40 Views

Zimbabwe eyes more power imports from Mozambique

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 68 Views

Matabeleland North teachers' college set up in Hwange

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 48 Views

NGO dismisses Zimbabwe abduction claims

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 54 Views

Man stones elderly beerhall patron

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 48 Views

Deadly xenophobic attacks against truck drivers in South Africa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 August 2019 | 53 Views

Government commissions US$5m Zimsec printing press

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 43 Views

Pair steals US$2 300 from cars

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 44 Views

'ZCTU will protest until Mnangagwa listens'

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 39 Views

Zimbabwe lithium mine secures power supply

by newZWire | 26 August 2019 | 41 Views

Zanu-PF MP threatens Silobela miner

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 31 Views

BCC to disconnect defaulters

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 30 Views

MDC calls for regional intervention

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 32 Views

Municipalities revenue collection bid dealt blow

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 30 Views

Glen View new battlefield for Chamisa, Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 26 Views

Mutare probes MDC, Zanu-PF councillors over stands

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 35 Views

'Glen View South litmus test for Mnangagwa'

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 26 Views

Zanu-PF Youth League in door-to-door campaign

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 37 Views

UN looks into Zimbabwe rights abuses

by Staff reporter | 26 August 2019 | 32 Views

Zanu-PF congratulates Mnangagwa

by Zanu-PF | 25 August 2019 | 71 Views

Harare-Chirundu highway project begins

by Staff reporter | 25 August 2019 | 69 Views

Little change one year on from Mnangagwa's inauguration

by Bill Corcoran in Cape Town | 25 August 2019 | 78 Views

He taught us to listen, not simply hear

by Thomas Tondorindo Murisa | 25 August 2019 | 79 Views

Police State

by Zimbabwe Vigil Diary | 25 August 2019 | 68 Views