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Zimbabwe: WFP calls on donors to help millions of people at risk of hunger

People affected by the coronavirus economic downturn, receive food donations at the Iterileng informal settlement near Laudium, southwest of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

NEW YORK , December 17 , 2020 / PRN Africa / – “Funds for emergency food aid run out as millions face hunger during the lean season in Zimbabwe, ” said the UN agency in a press release

This funding would enable WFP to provide minimum emergency food aid to the most vulnerable 3.5 million rural and 550,000 city dwellers, complementing the response of the Zimbabwean government and other partners.

“More than half of rural Zimbabweans have no choice but to skip meals, cut down on portions or sell their precious possessions to cope with the situation,” said Francesca Erdelmann, WFP Representative in Zimbabwe .

Drought, growing hyperinflation and Covid-19

“We are very concerned that if WFP does not receive enough funds to reach four million people, families will be pushed even further to their limits,” she added, noting that “millions of Zimbabweans are devastated by a year of drought, growing hyperinflation and Covid-19 ”.

The call comes ahead of the lean season, which is likely to push 6.9 million people – nearly half of Zimbabwe’s population – to go hungry as early as March, according to national data.

Among those 6.9 million are about a third of the rural population, who are expected to face “crisis” or “emergency” levels of hunger, and 2.3 million starving city dwellers, the agency said. UN based in Rome .

Farm families, who make up three-quarters of Zimbabwe’s population and produce most of its food, are also affected by a third consecutive drought-stricken harvest this year. At least 7.6 million people have fallen into poverty this year – one million more than in 2019.

Hyperinflation has also pushed commodity prices beyond the means of most Zimbabweans.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already fragile situation, making it particularly difficult for poor families to afford nutritious food, especially with incomes, which are drying up due to semi-containment measures.

SOURCE UN News Center

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