A new food assessment report says that close to two million Zimbabweans will still need food aid in the coming months, despite "better economic conditions."
The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) reported this month that about 1.7 million Zimbabweans will be in need of food aid during the next two months. Both FEWSNET and the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) last year estimated that about 1.3 million rural households will be food insecure between January and March.
"The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Food Programme (WFP) Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission estimated that an additional 400 000 people in the urban areas will not be able to meet their food needs in the 2010/11 consumption year," FEWSNET said, bringing the estimated number of food insecure people in Zimbabwe to about 1.7 million.
The main areas of concern include Beitbridge, Gwanda, Matobo, Mangwe, Bulilima, Hwange, Kariba, Binga, Chiredzi, Chivi, Zaka, Gutu, Bikita, Buhera, Chimanimani, Nyanga, Rushinga, Mudzi, and Mberengwa.
"These areas also have projected low acute malnutrition levels over the outlook period," warned FEWSNET, adding that food assistance programme plans for the January-March period would be sufficient to cover the assessed needs. The assistance programmes aim to meet the needs of about 1.6 million people by March.