Zim could be months away from a food shortage

More than one million Zimbabweans may struggle to feed themselves in the coming months, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Monday, noting a poor harvest in several areas of the country.

Zimbabwe has just entered its rainy season which will last until March. The local economy is still suffering from years of mismanagement and the global downturn is also hindering growth.

“Most at risk are low-income families hit by failed harvests, and households with orphans and vulnerable children,” said the UN’s WFP.

“Although food is generally available in many rural areas, it is too expensive for those with limited resources,” the agency said in a statement, which called for foreign donors to give $42-million for food aid to Zimbabwe.

The Southern African country, once renowned as a regional breadbasket, started receiving food aid in 2001, a year after the government launched a takeover of white-owned farms that was widely condemned abroad.

The coming months are also expected to see some political turmoil, as the coalition between President Robert Mugabe and former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai shows signs of wear. — Sapa-dpa

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