A senior official of the Consortium for the Southern Africa Food Security Emergency or C-SAFE said the organization is feeding about 400,000 Zimbabwean school children in its target areas of Matabeleland South, Masvingo and parts of Mashonaland and Manicaland.

C-SAFE Chief of Party Edward Brown said that despite delays caused by a government ban on most nongovernmental humanitarian assistance between June and August, he expects his organization to be feeding up to 1.5 million people by next month.

Working with distribution agents including World Vision, Care International and Catholic Relief services, Brown said that C-SAFE in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program should be feeding around five million people by early 2009.

But Brown said the current situation is dire and that his staff has heard of malnutrition-related deaths that could have been prevented if food were made available.

Brown told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that despite resiliency in many communities, Zimbabweans are running out of coping mechanisms.

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