Covid-19 – WFP appeals for more funding to feed Zimbabwe

… as the UN agency projects severe hunger


HARARE – The World Food Programme (WFP) has made an urgent appeal for US$250m to feed food insecure Zimbabweans whose number is expected to surge by almost 50 percent by end of the year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a statement released by the UN agency earlier today (Thursday), due to combined effects of drought, economic recession and the Covid-19 pandemic the number of food insecure Zimbabweans will surge by almost 50 percent to reach 8,6 million by year end which is 60 percent of the population.

Due to lack of funding, out of the intended 1,8 million food aid beneficiaries the agency will this month manage to assist only 700 000 people hence the need for more funding.

“WFP projections indicate that by years end, the number of food insecure Zimbabweans will have surged by almost 50 percent to touch 8.6 million, a staggering 60 percent of the population owing to the combined effects of drought, economic recession and the pandemic. “Many Zimbabwean families are suffering the ravages of acute hunger, and their plight will get worse before it gets better. We need the international community to step up now to help us prevent a potential humanitarian catastrophe” reads part of the statement. The statement said the national lockdown which was reinforced last week precipitated massive joblessness in urban areas, while hunger in rural areas is accelerating because unemployed people are returning to their villages without anything to offer. The country was hit by a successive drought for the third time this year with subsistence farmers only harvesting 1.1 million metric tonnes of maize as compared to 2.4 million metric tonnes last year. The UN agency is also projecting a severe hunger in early 2021.

“Subsistence farming families who make up three quarters of the population and produce most of its food are also hurting because of a third successive drought-hit harvest this year. It yielded only 1.1 million metric tonnes of maize, well down on last years already poor 2.4 million metric tonnes less than half of the national requirement. This, in turn presages even more severe hunger in early 2021, the peak of the next lean season” added WFP.

United States, United Kingdom, CERF, European Commission, France, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are the donors who are supporting WFP`s emergency response program to Covid-19 in Zimbabwe. http://masvingomirror,com

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