The Canadian government has pledged $3.3 million in food aid to Zimbabwe, which according to World Food Program Southern African regional spokesman Richard Lee consists of 6,600 metric tonnes of maize that will start to flow in September.

The Canadian donation came on the heels of a U.S. pledge of 47,400 metric tonnes of grain that will feed an estimated 500,000 Zimbabweans for the next six months.

Zimbabwe is facing serious food shortages: more than a third of its population faces hunger between now and the next harvest beginning in March 2008.

Lee told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that although a lot more grain is needed, the Canadian pledge will help get the aid pipeline flowing.

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