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Over half of Zimbabweans face severe hunger, UN warns

Zimbabwe is facing the worst hunger crisis in 10 years, a deputy director of the World Food Programme (WPF), who addressed the issue in the capital Harare, said on Monday, December 30, 2019.

Emmerson Mnangagwa
Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe

“More than half of the population of 14 million people is threatened by food insecurity,’’ deputy director, Niels Balzer, said.

Balzer adding that it was as a result of drought and decades of mismanagement under the long-term ruler Robert Mugabe, who died in September.

The WFP had planned to distribute food from abroad to 4.1 million people, especially in rural areas.

The hunger crisis, however, continues to worsen.

Corn, for example, is only available in half the markets nationwide and only at prices that are unaffordable for many due to high inflation.

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In order to provide for almost eight million people, the WFP will need an additional $200 million of funding for the first half of the year alone to prevent Zimbabweans from starving.

“As things stand, we will run out of food by end of February, coinciding with the peak of the hunger season, when needs are at their highest,’’ Balzer said.

The situation was aggravated by the fact that this year’s rain season started late, he added.

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