Zimbabwe: Zim Food Crisis Is Man Made - UN

Orphans in Harare's Kambuzuma township eat a meal provided by the charity Faith Community Support.
28 November 2019

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver who was in the country for an observation mission on the Right to Food in Zimbabwe says the country's food crisis is man-made.

Elver was presenting her preliminary observations following her 11-day field visits and meetings with Government, Independent Institutions, and Representatives from the UN System, International Donor Community, Civil Society Organizations and local communities.

She said the food situation in the country was in an emergency state due to government's failures and rampant partisan distribution of food with opposition supporters being sidelined.

"The reason why I said the crisis is man-made is because this is not a natural occurrence to the country because the contra has a vast amount of natural resources. Once upon a time, the country was an important productive nation for Africa where it used to be the breadbasket of Africa.

"This means something happened, but not from nature but from mismanagement, political and conflict of issues which led to people starving."

She said it is surprising that Zimbabwe is ranked amongst the countries with the worst food crisis despite being a non-conflict nation.

It is ranked with Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia, countries which have war tone for decades.

"Zimbabwe is the only country that is on the list but does not have a conflict to such a dangerous level. This crisis comes from dysfunctional systems," Elver said.

She noted that even if the blame was to be pushed on the recent drought which has been ravaging the country, most nations have survived the natural disaster, Zimbabwe included but lately, the political and economic systems have worsened the situation.

Elver said the government needs to act to change the current systems and implement those that necessitate growth and food security.

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