HomeLocal NewsWFP feeds 834 000

WFP feeds 834 000

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The World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners have so far provided food assistance to about 834 000 needy people in 34 of the most food-insecure districts in the country since December last year.

According to the latest Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) report, the food aid programme is intended to cover over 80% of the targeted food insecure population.

Areas such as Hwange and Binga in Matabeleland North, Kariba in Mashonaland West and rural areas in Matabeleland South are among the districts that received the food aid.

An estimated 1, 026 million Zimbabweans need food aid.

However, the report said: Planned food assistance programmes for the 2011/12 consumption year are facing resource challenges and might not adequately support the food-insecure population.

Fewsnet said food insecurity could be exacerbated by the high cost of living.

The general cost of living continues to increase at a pace faster than increases in incomes for most rural and urban households, said the report.

This will greatly affect food insecurity in some parts of the country.

The re-introduction of import duty contributed to increases in food prices.

The re-introduction of import duty on commodities contributed to the increase in prices by about 25% by December last year, said the report.

The report stated that increases in cooking oil prices have been the highest among all the food commodities.

Fewsnet added agricultural inputs were readily available on the market, but most farmers continued to face serious financial constraints.

It is hoped that in some parts agricultural inputs support programmes by government, donors, and other entities will address part of this problem, said the report.

There are already fears of massive food shortages this year owing to crop failure during the current summer cropping season.

Zimbabwe has faced shortages since the government embarked on a controversial land reform programme in 2000 that saw white commercial farmers being thrown out of their land.

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