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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

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

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora