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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs