News / Africa

US Donates $4M to Help Ease Zimbabwe Hunger

Zimbabwean villagers collect their monthly rations of food aid about 254km north of Harare on March 7, 2013.
Zimbabwean villagers collect their monthly rations of food aid about 254km north of Harare on March 7, 2013.
The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe announced a $4 million grant to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), heeding a call from the U.N. World Food Program for further help with the food crisis in Zimbabwe, where more than two million people are facing hunger or in some cases, starvation.  

The donation brings the United States' contribution toward fighting hunger in Zimbabwe to $29 million this year, but some Zimbabweans blame the West for the country's food shortages.

U.S. ambassador Bruce Wharton announced the donation Tuesday while visiting Umguza, a rural area in Matabeleland North province, about 400 kilometers southwest of Harare.

Some demonstrators protesting U.S. sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his allies were restrained by fellow villagers during the announcement. The World Food Program says Matabeleland North is one of the four provinces where food situation is dire, especially in rural areas.

Wharton referred to the demonstration as an act of freedom of expression.

“I am really here to talk about the humanitarian needs and the work that we are doing with the people of this community to build long-term resilience, economic activities so that the people of Zimbabwe do not have to rely on targeted seasonal humanitarian assistance," Wharton said, "so that every year there is a smaller number of people who need this sort of assistance, so that they are able to produce their own food, to educate their own children (and) to build their own lives.”

Seasonal humanitarian assistance has become the norm in Zimbabwe since 2000, when agricultural production began a long-term plunge.  Authorities attribute the trend to drought, while critics blamed Mugabe's chaotic land reforms.

Since then, maize, Zimbabwe's staple crop, has been in short supply. During this so-called "hunger season," the last three months before harvesting, the WFP is struggling to raise $86 million to feed more than two million hungry Zimbabweans.

Robert Tshuma was among those demonstrating during the Wharton's tour of Umguza. He says the protest was against the financial and travel sanctions the United States and other Western countries have applied against Mugabe and his allies.

"We are not stopping anyone from distributing food aid here, but our appeal is that these sanctions be removed," said Tshuma. "Sanctions should go. When will they lift them?"

The sanctions were first applied more than a decade ago, after reports of human rights abuses and election-rigging by the Mugabe government.

Jennifer Sithole, a widow looking after five children, says all she wants is food assistance.

“I do not have assets [implements] to plow and the place was very dry," Sithole said. "As widows, people were working very hard to get food [from WFP].”

Even with the latest U.S. contribution, the World Food Program still faces shortfalls for its health, nutrition and resilience-building activities in Zimbabwe. The agency says it still needs $60 million during the next six months to fund these programs.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias pe from: Portugal
February 13, 2014 12:33 PM
Thank You America

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid