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looms as Zimbabwe faces highest levels of food insecurity in years
Cavanagh, World Food Programme
September 03, 2013
Hunger is on
the rise in Zimbabwe with an estimated 2.2 million people - one
in four of the rural population- expected to need food assistance
during the pre-harvest period early next year. This is the highest
since early 2009 when more than half the population required food
The extent of
predicted hunger is revealed in the recently-published Zimbabwe
Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) rural livelihoods report
which estimates food security levels and identifies affected areas.
The study is led by the Government with support from the UN and
districts, particularly in the south, harvested very little and
people are already trying to stretch out their dwindling food stocks,”
says UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director Sory Ouane.
“WFP is working closely with the Government and partners to
respond to the looming food crisis and will start food and cash
distributions to the most vulnerable in October.”
To meet the
increased needs, WFP and its partners will provide regionally-procured
cereals as well as imported vegetable oil and pulses. Cash transfers
will be used in selected areas to afford people flexibility and
help support local markets. Distributions will be gradually scaled
up from October until harvest time in March next year.
high levels of food insecurity are being attributed to various factors
including adverse weather conditions, the unavailability and high
cost of agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers and projected
high cereal prices due to the poor maize harvest. WFP monitoring
in rural markets has found grain prices 15 percent higher than this
time last year.
In 2012, for
the first time, the Government of Zimbabwe contributed some US$10
million worth of grain from domestic stocks towards a joint relief
operation with WFP and partners. This programme provided food assistance
to some 1.4 million people in 37 rural districts.
To help people
withstand future droughts and other shocks, WFP has been implementing
a Food for Assets programme in rural Zimbabwe since June. Under
this programme, vulnerable communities receive food while taking
part in projects such as the construction of community irrigation
systems and deep wells.
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