Only 1 million still need food aid

The number of people in need of food assistance has plummeted from seven million to one million, with development partners expecting to wean the country completely next year.

Those still needing assistance are located in the drought-prone areas, mainly Matebeleland, Manicaland, Masvingo and the Zambezi valley.

“In these areas we need a long term measures to address the problem of food security, by this we are not talking about people being able to produce their own food but also to have income which make it possible for them to buy their own food,” says the World Food Programme.

“If all partners implement their long term food security programes in a year or two Zimbabwe will not be requiring any more food assistance.”

Zimbabwe, once the bread basket of the region, has been struggling to feed itself since President Robert Mugabe embarked on the land reform program in 2000 which resulted in the seizure of white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks. In reality, most of the land was allocated to senior Zanu (PF) politicians and members of the security forces to secure their allegiance to the party.

Unprecedented hyper-inflation between 2001 and 2009 and subsequent economic collapse resulted in many public services virtually grinding to a halt. The commercial supply chain and retail marketing systems were severely disrupted, causing chronic shortages of food and agricultural commodities.

To date international donors have committed more than $185 million in humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe through the United Nations Consolidated Appeal.

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