The World Food Program has purchased 36,000 tonnes of maize from Malawi, which a spokesman said will feed 3 million Zimbabweans for a month when the operation has peaked in the heart of the "hunger season" in the first months of 2008.

"We are buying across the Southern African region, primarily in Malawi, but also in Zambia, also in Mozambique, and of course some in South Africa," said WFP Southern African spokesman Richard Lee from Johannesburg.

He said the WFP had fallen short of its goal of providing aid to 1 million Zimbabweans as of September because the registration process took longer than expected, "but we have been continuing to expand our operations this month, October, and will continue to do so in November and December aiming to reach 3 million people by the end of the year and then through until the next harvest in April 2008."

Lee told reporter Patience Rusere that although international donors have responded generously, another $46 million dollars is needed to fund the Zimbabwe operation.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...