News / Africa

WFP Seeks to Avert Zimbabwe Hunger

Village headman Kennedy Rusere in Buhera rural district, about 300 kilometers southeast of Harare.  The food situation in his village is desperate. (Photo: VOA / Sebastian Mhofu)
Village headman Kennedy Rusere in Buhera rural district, about 300 kilometers southeast of Harare. The food situation in his village is desperate. (Photo: VOA / Sebastian Mhofu)
HARARE – The United Nations’ World Food Program is appealing for $87 million to avert starvation in Zimbabwe’s rural areas where close to two million people need food aid.  The U.N. agency says because of poor rainfall, this year's hunger season in Zimbabwe has started earlier than in the past.

Kennedy Rusere is home alone with his wife in Buhera rural district, about 300 kilometers southeast of Harare.  He talks about the dismal food situation in the village he heads.

"We no longer prepare any food during the day; otherwise the hunger season would be longer," Rusere said. "Children go into the bush during the day and get some wild fruits and then drink water while waiting for a meal in the evening."

That about summarizes the hunger situation in Buhera rural area since March of this year. Children look emaciated.  The fields are dry.  

Buhera, part of Manicaland province, is one of the four regions the World Food Program says are worst affected by drought in Zimbabwe.  Others are Midlands, Matabeleland South and Masvingo.

Liliana Yovcheva of the WFP program office in Zimbabwe says her organization is facing an $87 million deficit as it tries to ease the food shortage.

"This year, the needs are much higher than in the last three years," she explained.  "This is about 60 percent more. We hear of people starting to sell their livestock at distress prices, reducing their number of meals in rural Zimbabwe, which is a clear indication that the food security situation is worsening.  It happens in other years but much more later in the year, sometime in November, December."

Junica Maradzika says she does not know her age but looks over 80 years old.  She, along with her 90-year-old husband, is looking after 14 grandchildren who were left by their late seven children.

“When our maize was at tussling level, rains disappeared and our crop dried up," she said.  "We had four cattle. We sold one and bought 250 kilograms of maize, but that could not cater for school fees [of my grandchildren.]”

Maradzika is now into pottery, from which she earns about $5 a week, if she is lucky.  At times no one buys her pottery.  She hopes food aid gets going so she and her grandchildren can avoid starvation.

Zimbabwe's government has indicated that it is looking for money to import maize.
 
The country was once the breadbasket of southern Africa, but food production fell sharply after President Robert Mugabe ordered the seizure of white-owned commercial farms beginning in 2000.

Some farms are productive under their new black owners but agriculture and the economy have yet to fully recover, forcing Zimbabwe to import much of the food it needs.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Agrippa
August 13, 2012 2:55 PM
Seizure of commercial farms accompanied by violence and forced removal of farmers and their labour, approved by
the Government, has ultimately led to the collapse of the agricultural economy - loss of employment. How this will be resolved it difficult to forsee. A humanitarian tragedy of immense proportions with far reaching consequences,never considered.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid