The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says it urgently needs US$130 million to sustain upto August, an emergency operation to prevent millions of the country's most vulnerable people plunging deeper into hunger.
In a statement WFP says over 4 million people are food insecure up from 3, 8 million at the end of 2019.
"A recent nationwide assessment - the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) - shows that the number of acutely food insecure Zimbabweans has risen to 4.3 million, from 3.8 million at the end of last year," read the statement
WFP Country Director, Eddie Rowe says the plight of Zimbabweans is at risk due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
"With most Zimbabweans already struggling to put food on the table, the COVID pandemic risks even wider and deeper desperation," said Eddie Rowe, WFP's Country Director. "We must all do our utmost to prevent this tragedy turning into a catastrophe."
In recent months WFP says it has helped ease hunger in six of nine districts classified late last year as suffering "emergency" food insecurity, allowing them to be downgraded to the less severe "crisis" level.
The US$130 million being urgently sought, WFP says "Is part of a total food assistance requirement of US$472 million through December"
WFP adds "Experts predict that the upcoming 2020 harvest will be even poorer. Most of Zimbabwe's food is produced by subsistence farmers dependent on a single, increasingly unreliable rainy season.
"With unprecedented hyperinflation having pushed the prices of staples beyond the means of most Zimbabweans, increasingly desperate families are eating less, selling off precious belongings and going into debt"
The UN agency is planning to assist 4.1 million people in April, although insufficient funding has prevented it achieving the same monthly target since the turn of the year.
In March, it reached 3.7 million of the most vulnerable Zimbabweans. The total number of food insecure people stands at 7.7 million, more than half the population.