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One Million Zimbabweans Need Food Aid

Amid famine in the Horn of African, World Food Program officials are now calling for increased food aid in Zimbabwe. Above, Man and malnourished grandson at food clinic in Sudan, Sept. 11 2005 (file photo).

A United Nations agency says more than one million people in Zimbabwe are in urgent need of food aid.

The World Food Program says about $42 million is needed to get people through the lean season until the March harvest begins.

The agency said Monday most who face hunger live in southern and western regions where poor harvests are expected.

They include poor families, orphans and other vulnerable children who cannot afford to purchase food, most of which has been imported.

World Food Program director in Zimbabwe, Felix Bamezon, said some families are already skipping meals and reducing their portion sizes.

Zimbabwe's agricultural industry once powered Zimbabwe's economy, but it collapsed after 2000 when President Robert Mugabe's party began confiscating land from white commercial farmers for redistribution to blacks.

Crop production has rebounded somewhat since 2009, when Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party entered into a unity government with the longtime opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.