NGO banned, hunger looms

food_aid_womanHARARE The operating environment for aid agencies in Zimbabwe is likely to worsen in the run-up to next years general elections, reigniting fears of another ban on activities of non-governmental organisations critical of President Robert Mugabes policies, according to a famine early warning system.

The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) warned that the government was likely to block critically needed humanitarian support for the hungry and other marginalised groups as campaigning for polls gathers momentum next year.

If conditions become politically volatile, humanitarian agencies might be called to stop their support, FEWSNET said in its latest update on Zimbabwe.

Mugabes government banned all NGO field operations in June 2008 after accusing relief agencies of using aid distribution as a pretext to carry out political work for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T.

Over the next six months, the most likely food security scenario is a deterioration of food security status across a greater part of the country with the exception of the central area which is traditionally a grain surplus region, it said.

An increased number of people in other parts of the country are likely to become moderately food insecure throughout the lean season and outlook period from October 2010 to March 2011.

Post published in: World News

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