A large section of the electorate feels handouts are tantamount to vote buying – except for the perception that the practice is not that effective.
Some rain has fallen yet crop yields are still expected to be poor, but aid programmes have opened the door to a more sustainable future.
Poor nutrition not only costs individuals dearly by stunting their potential, but the country too.
Charitable bodies are reeling from the global financial crisis as donor aid slows to a trickle.
Around a million poor Zimbabweans face hunger after the UN World Food Programme announced it was cutting food rations due to a cash crunch.
Refugees at the Bangui airport camp gained some respite in the form of food, buckets and tarpaulins after supplies were cut off for three weeks.
Independent surveys have revealed partisan distribution of food relief in Zimbabwe, where more than 2.2-million people are urgently in need of food.
Finance institutions and aid groups have begun changing their focus in Africa to smaller-scale systems that help to make farmers more independent.
Al-Shabaab's ban on one of the few agencies still operating in Somalia could deprive hundreds of thousands of people of critical food aid.
The opportunities are there and leaders must work together to make them bear fruit.
Across the Horn of Africa, a fierce drought is forcing more than 10-million people to rely on emergency food aid, up from a forecast of six-million.
North Korea has stepped up calls for international food aid amid shortages caused by its economic mismanagement and military spending.
Hardline Islamist insurgents in southern Somalia told international aid agencies on Tuesday to hand out all the food in their warehouses, or leave.
Zimbabwe's prime minister designate says he does not trust Robert Mugabe but believes he is committed to their new power-sharing deal.
What happens to a nation whose people depend on the largesse of international donor agencies for their existence, once support is withdrawn?
Aid agencies in Zimbabwe remain barred from reaching millions of starving Zimbabweans, despite two separate agreements in the inter-party talks.
Nearly 15-million people in the Horn of Africa region are facing a humanitarian disaster unless donors urgently release funds to deliver supplies.
Somalia faces a serious food crisis if no nation steps forward with naval ships to escort relief shipments through pirate-infested waters.
The World Food Programme says food cuts in Darfur are a forced necessity.