Hunger looms

via Hunger looms | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News 22 Jan 2014

ZIMBABWE’S food situation remains precarious and is certain to compound the difficulties already being faced by government, which is desperate to slam the brakes on an economy that has been in decline since 2000.The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is particularly concerned about the food security situation in rural areas within Matabeleland North and South, Masvingo and Midlands.

“…and, because of a shortage of funding, we’re also concerned about our ability to respond to the needs of the people at this critical time,” said Tomson Phiri, the WFP communications officer.
About 2,2 million people, nearly one quarter of the rural population, is in dire need of food assistance.

Sydney Mhishi, the principal director in the Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee last week that the most “critical period is January, February and early March.”
The crisis is an indictment on government which seems to be paying lip service to its pledge to revive the country’s agriculture.
Under its economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), government says food security would be a major priority for the ZANU-PF administration.
Agriculture, along with mining, have been identified as the key drivers of Zim-Asset although their performance could be weighed down by weak international commodity prices and poor rainfall.

The United Nations says the rise in food prices was making matters worse — where in some areas, prices are as much as double what they were last year.
Zimbabwe is set to import nearly 150 000 tonnes of maize from South Africa before the next harvest in April.

Last year’s harvest was affected by flooding and destruction of crops in several parts of the country, creating the need to bring in maize from other countries. It is estimated that nearly 10 000 tonnes of grain is needed each month to supply the most affected parts of the country.

Unfortunately, funding from traditional donors such as the United Kingdom and the United States has been scaled down, forcing the WFP to downsize its assistance to vulnerable groups.
“In fact, we have had to cut rations for one million of our beneficiaries in recent months and there are likely to be deeper cuts as from next month. WFP currently needs US$60 million to fully implement its relief and recovery operations in the next six months,” said Phiri.

With hunger wreaking havoc in the rural areas, analysts believe that the politicisation of food during its distribution cannot be ruled out.


  • comment-avatar
    Zhara 8 years ago

    Kana vakasvuurwa nayo ndiko kuti vamuke. Hope dzakawandisa. Vanhu vepi vanoramba vachibhejera bhiza risina makumbo!!!

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    The government has just made a 4 billion dollar budget and yet all of this money is set to higher priority spending than 60 million dollars to feed the starving. It is left to foreigners to feed the starving. These people have no shame at all.

    Even more puzzling is that most of these ignored starving people vote for ZANU at election time. This country will not come out of its problems any time soon

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    holy moyo 8 years ago

    And Disgrace Mugabi and his saliva drooling geriatric Robberry Mgabi promised people in Mat South and North that nobody would go hungry.This old thief and his rotten regime is a misery to the people of this country.
    I am a Christian but I dearly wish he could die.Like the 30000 people He and his henchman massacred in the genocide in Our Beautiful Matabeleland.
    May he rot in Hell with his prostitute Disgrace with whom he had an adulterous relationship While his wife Sally lay dying.
    What a shameless.horrible degenerate.murderous tyrant.
    From Vancouver
    Holy Moyo

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    Rukweza 8 years ago

    Irrigation is the answer,but politicians like to be seen distributing maize in those provinces every year

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      Doris 8 years ago

      Irrigation may be part of the answer, but agricultural expertise is more important and also – how the heck do you stop the so-called new farmers from flogging off the pumps and pipes? Most of the farms were grabbed with all the irrigation set ups in place, weren’t they?It’s high time that ZANU PF admitted that the land grab is a total failure. We used to export our maize didn’t we?

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    dayford 8 years ago

    They have always blamed the drought and sanctions…the rains have come aplenty let us wait and hear the next excuse this time next year.

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    The ‘Devil may care’ in me wants to say ‘ndozvamaida you got the Government you truly deserve especially vekumaruzevha muchinyanya kupfichuka pama rally.’

    But hey I hope that for the sake of the children these starving families get some respite. I wouldn’t look to the Government though because their bellies are so full they have become sluggish when it comes to matters concerning the bellies of others especially the rural based folk who voted for them. Besides the officials can’t be seen driving their latest wheels into the Bundu where there are no roads. There is and was never any compassion in those over indulged beings.

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    Zvakwana 8 years ago

    The UN should stop helping feed these people in an attempt to force them on to the streets in the help of causing an uprising it will take just a small spark.

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    AS far as I can see the writer is sitting on the fence. No sensible person will call the land reform one of Zunu’s successes. Notice I say Zanu because it is the whole of Zanu that implemented this mess. In my opinion there was nothing wrong with resettling people. It was long overdue. But the land Invasions, the loss of life of people like Martin Olds who was helping out people in his community (Ask any original person from Nyamandhlovu what the man was doing in the schools). The looting of farms. The lawlessness that we saw during these invasions. How can anyone call it a success? Yes some have made use of the land but on the whole the country continues to suffer.Land is lying idle while the masses have to try to survive buying expensive foreign products. The invasions caused a lot of unemployment because that sector was the one of the major employers in the Country.

    I feel vindicated after reading the above article.

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    Zvakwana I agree with you but who is stopping the aid from reaching the people? The Government has accused the aid agencies of being agents of regime change so they won’t allow them in unless they give the food aid to The Government to distribute. The UN will not do this, neither will the aid agencies because this will be used as a political weapon. We have seen and heard this in the past where chiefs come out in the open that they will not allow opposition supporters to claim food aid. You would need to have a party card. This is not how the UN works. This being so people will starve and there is nothing anybody can do about it unless some sort of reasoning prevails in Zanu pf, but don’t hold your breath.

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    Its called Gukurahundi Agriculture!!!

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    Only Fools 8 years ago

    So the people of Zimbabwe have not worked out that the Devil Mugabe has NO INTENTION of feeding the people. Mao said ‘Grab them by the
    balls and their hearts and minds will follow! In other words feed the people who are ZANU PF only. The rest of you will starve! Welcome to Mugabeland you will suffer now.