Official sources in the UN Development Fund confirmed that there had been a formal request for relief assistance, which was under consideration. The request had come from Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister. Biti confirmed the plea, saying the country faced a “grain deficit”.
Zimbabwe had asked for help in raising $200 million from foreign countries. The aid worker said that the UN’s famine relief agency, the World Food Programme, could send direct assistance to communities “in dire need”.
Zimbabwe’s National Early Warning Unit said this week that one in 10 people already needed food aid, and that the government’s stocks of maize were likely to start running out next month.
It also said that the government needed to “immediately” import 200,000 tonnes of maize to avert starvation. The agency said planned food assistance programs for the 2012 maize season are likely to fill the food entitlement gaps in some rural areas, if they are not adequately supplied.Post published in: News