A continuing drought has wreaked havoc on food supplies in Zimbabwe. Humanitarian aid from the international community has been forthcoming every year since 2000 when farm production started to fall.
A continuing drought has wreaked havoc on food supplies in Zimbabwe. Humanitarian aid from the international community has been forthcoming every year since 2000 when farm production started to fall. Maize, the Southern African nation’s staple crop, has been in especially short supply.
With two months to go before the 2014 harvest and up to 2.2 million Zimbabweans facing another “hunger season,” the United States has contributed an additional $4 million to the United Nation’s World Food Program, which it will pool with other funds to distribute food, mostly regionally procured cereals as well as imported vegetable oil and pulses. Some cash transfers are also made in selected areas to afford people flexibility and help support local markets.
Ambassador Bruce Wharton announced the new donation February 11 while visiting Umguza in Matabeleland North, one of the country’s four provinces where the food situation is dire. This additional funding brings the total of USG food assistance for the hunger season to $29 million.
Additional aid is forthcoming to help the Zimbabwean government help around 20,000 people displaced by flooding in the south of the country following torrential rains. Villagers living in the basin of a huge dam project that is under construction in Masvingo province have been most affected. After consulting with Zimbabwe’s lead disaster relief agency, the Civilian Protection Unit, the U.S. Agency for International Development has a disaster assessment expert in country. The U.S. Mission in Harare will monitor the situation closely and identify additional needs as they arise.