The U.N. World Food Program says that nearly half the population of
Zimbabwe will need food aid by early next year. Peta Thornycroft
reports that WFP says two million people in Zimbabwe need aid
The World Food Program says it needs $140 million
to cover mass emergency feeding for millions of Zimbabweans before the
harvest next April.
The U.N. agency warned that without
additional contributions it will run out of stocks in January, "at the
very peak of the crisis."
A statement from WFP regional
director Mustapha Darboe said, "millions of Zimbabweans have run out of
food or are surviving on just one meal a day, and the crisis is going
to get much worse in the coming months."
Zimbabwe was self
sufficient in food until President Robert Mugabe started evicting white
commercial farmers in 2000 and gave their land to members of his ZANU-PF party who had few farming skills.
Every year since then food
production has decreased and the economy has shrunk, producing
record-breaking inflation of more than 300 million percent, a worthless
currency, and the lowest life expectancy in the world.
World Food Program says 28 percent of children under five in Zimbabwe
are now malnourished and 45 percent of the population will depend on
emergency food aid early next year.
The United States is by far the biggest donor and has given $108 million this year.
human rights campaigner, Paul Themba Nyathi says WFP statistics appear
too low for southern Zimbabwe. He said he has never seen such a food
deficit before. He said every person he sees in rural areas in the
south is starving.
Another human rights activist said this
food crisis was not only the worst ever, but was more complicated than
before because urban shops had no essential food items available for
Meanwhile, the bad news in Zimbabwe compounded when Prime
Minister Designate Morgan Tsvangirai announced he had deadlocked with
Mr. Mugabe over allocation of Cabinet positions under the power-sharing
agreement signed on September 15.
He called for former South
African president Thabo Mbeki, appointed by the Southern African
Development Community last year to mediate the Zimbabwe political and
humanitarian crisis to return to Harare to help unblock the