Zimbabwe: Zim Hunger Crisis Rises to Alarming Levels

Zimbabwe flag.
22 April 2020

Zimbabwe's food situation is worsening by the day as more than 4,3 million people will be food insecure by June this year a food crisis report has revealed.

According to the Global Report on Food Crises for the year 2020 which was produced and recently released by the Food Security Information Network, the Zimbabwean government is highly incapacitated to provide food for the country due to a number of issues, key being the poor performance of the economy.

"The alarming acute food insecurity situation is expected to worsen in 2020. Persisting economic difficulties have eroded the resilience of households.

"Given limited indications that there will be a significant turnaround in the economy during the first half of 2020, households are likely to continue to face severe food access constraints," reads part of the report.

With the coronavirus on Zimbabwe's doors, the government has channelled most resources towards fighting the pandemic leaving the country in a desperate situation in as far as food provision is concerned.

"Early rainfall deficits caused permanent wilting of crops in localized areas, while erratic rainfall is expected to result in a decline in crop productivity in the 2019/2020 season.

"The on-going economic crisis has hindered farmers' access to agricultural inputs, causing a reduction in the area planted with maize.

"The 2020 harvest is forecast to remain below the five-year average, which would sustain a tight supply situation and curtail potential earnings from crop sales for farming households. As a result, the acutely food-insecure rural population in need of urgent action is estimated at 4.3 million up to June 2020 (IPC, March 2020)," the report says.

However, a statement from the government Wednesday said a total of 7 114.19 metric tons of grain was distributed to vulnerable communities In the eight rural provinces during the month of April 2020.

"Cumulatively 80 000 metric tonnes of grain has been distributed to vulnerable households since January 2020.

"The government program is covering 760 000 households and the World Food Programme (WFP) is covering 60 000 households," said Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima.

He stated that the government has disbursed ZWL$ 3 870 089.25 to 21 431 urban food-deficit mitigation beneficiary households in Bulawayo and Harare in the past two weeks when the lockdown measures were put in place.

"A further ZWL$ 4 756 409.20 have been paid to 26 140 beneficiary households in Bindura , Kariba, Kwekwe,Gwanda, Plumtree, Shurugwi, Mvuma and Beitbridge. Cash payments have replaced grain allocation," Mavima said.

The government has been on an initiative with private companies to import maize from neighbouring countries to mitigate maize shortages in the country.

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