News / Africa

    WFP Struggles to Avert Starvation in Zimbabwe

    FILE - Zimbabwean children collect maize that has fallen from transport trucks near the town of Esigodini 450 Km's south west of the capital Harare.
    FILE - Zimbabwean children collect maize that has fallen from transport trucks near the town of Esigodini 450 Km's south west of the capital Harare.
    The U.N. World Food Program said it might have to scale back its efforts to ease food shortages in Zimbabwe as international funding for the exercise has fallen short.  Zimbabwe -- once the breadbasket of southern Africa -- is entering the peak of its so-called "hunger season," which this year is affecting more than 2 million people.

    The U.N. agency said the food situation is especially dire in rural areas of four provinces -- Matabeleland North and South, Masvingo and Midlands -- that tend to receive less rain than other provinces.

    The WFP is hoping to relieve the shortages by importing food, mainly maize.

    Sory Ouane, the head of WFP in Zimbabwe, said that despite contributions from donors such as the United States, Britain, Japan and the U.N.'s Central Emergency Relief Fund, the need for funding remains desperate.

    "It is a huge deficit that we are facing in the country, because we had planned for this program $86 million.  So far we have only managed to raise half of this ...  But no aid [contribution] is small at all -- this $4.2 million by the Japanese government is an important relief for us," Ouane noted.

    Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, a government minister responsible for Masvingo region, said Zimbabwe should move away from being dependent on donors. "In the future, what we should concentrate on is the development of irrigation to allow each and every community to work on an irrigation scheme where there is constant food supply and also complemented by the growing of small grains," he stated.

    It has been a story of food shortages and hunger in Zimbabwe since 2000, when agricultural production began a long-term plunge.  Authorities attribute the trend to drought, while critics say it was President Robert Mugabe's chaotic land reforms.

    Since then, maize, Zimbabwe's staple crop, has been in short supply.

    Boniface Mandongomani, an unemployed 47-year-old father of four from Sipambi village in Masvingo, is one of those facing starvation. "Hunger is very bad because you can't do anything. You can't buy anything.  If you find little money, you go and buy food for the family. It is very bad. [What is causing hunger in this area?]  No rain.  We receive little rain in this area," he said.

    Before President Mugabe's land program, which forced experienced white commercial farmers off their land, irrigation would mitigate the effects of drought in Zimbabwe.  During that time Zimbabwe would export food to other African countries.

    But since then most of the irrigation systems have fallen into disrepair.

    Until those systems are repaired or replaced, Zimbabwe's "hunger season" will likely remain an annual event.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora