Thousands face starvation as food crisis deepen in rural Zimbabwe


Thousands face starvation as food crisis deepen in rural Zimbabwe
 
The Food Security situation in rural Zimbabwe remains desperate as humanitarian NGOs are failing to cope with the number of people requiring food aid. A survey carried out by the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) indicates that the majority poor living in rural Zimbabwe are on the verge of starvation due to critical food shortage.


The CCDZ survey also indicates that most families are adopting various survival strategies which include eating one meal per day. Most school children have also dropped out of school because their parents cannot afford to send children to school as they now concentrate on looking for food. Most children are being asked to drop out of school and assist with working in farms to get grain.

 

The food situation in most rural areas in Zimbabwe is further compounded by the fact that most NGOs are still banned from engaging in food distribution programmes. The retributive and ill-conceived NGO ban on food aid by the ZANU PF government has affected most people, particularly those in the rural areas who were benefitting from food aid. Although most of the country’s provinces are critically hit by the ongoing food shortages, CCDZ warns of mass starvation in Masvingo, Matebeleland North and South, Manicaland and parts of the Midlands. The ongoing food operations by NGOs is not enough to avert starvation or near starvation of the populations of these provinces. Despite its promises to the electorate, the government of Zimbabwe is again failing to provide food and other essential services to the people. The government is under obligation to provide food to the needy or at least to create conditions that makes it possible for the majority poor to enjoy the human right to food.

 

The Centre for Community Development reiterates that even in times of economic turmoil such as the current situation prevailing in Zimbabwe, the government is still obliged to fulfil its human rights obligations. We urge that the government of Zimbabwe must take urgent steps and adopt lasting solutions to the perennial food shortages in Zimbabwe. We urge the adoption of a Food Security National Strategy with clear benchmarks, targets and a well-defined operational framework within which the human right to food can be realized. This means that partisan institutions will not have a role to play in determining and implementing food security policy in Zimbabwe.

 

We urge investigations into the continuous discrimination of opposition supporters in the rural areas under the BACOSSI programme. Most people who are suspected of having voted or openly campaigned for the Movement for Democratic Change in the recent elections are being left out of the BACOSSI lists being compiled in the rural areas. We note with concern the involvement of ZANU PF activists in some communities in Mashonaland East,West,Central,Midlands and Manicaland provinces in compiling the lists of potential food aid beneficiaries.

 

Issued 08 August 2008

 

Advocacy & Publicity

Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe

96 Central Ave

Harare

Zimbabwe

Telefax: +263 723 263

Cell: +263 912 697782

Email: [email protected]

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