UN World Food Programme cuts food aid to 1 million Zimbabweans

1
498

HARARE — A million Zimbabweans benefiting from United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aid are facing hunger due to a lack of funding that has caused deep cuts in assistance, the organisation said yesterday.

In September, the WFP said 2,2 million people in the southern African country faced food shortages, the highest in four years, following a drought and poor harvest.

The WFP had hoped to increase the number of people under its relief operations to 1,8 million, but said it was instead being forced to reduce the number of recipients due to a lack of cash.

“In fact, we’ve had to cut rations for one million of our beneficiaries in recent months and there are likely to be deeper cuts as from next month,” it said in a statement.

The monthly ration is made up of cooking oil, beans and maize, the staple food.

The WFP said it needed $60 million to implement full relief operations in the next six months in the impoverished nation of 13 million.

The 2,2 million in need of food aid is the highest since early 2009, the end of a decade-long economic decline.

Meanwhile, acting director in the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Ministry Sydney Mhishi yesterday said government supported institutions like orphanages face closure.

He said 75% of targeted beneficiaries of the food mitigation programme numbering 1,8 million people might not be supported and face serious starvation as the department of social services was allocated a paltry $1,6 million instead of almost $12 million.

Aid to street children, children in difficult circumstances, and support to persons living with disabilities, maintenance of older persons and other vulnerable groups will also suffer due to inadequate funding.

An estimated 20 000 older persons will not be maintained and there are threats of closure of some institutions like orphanages as only $500 000 was allocated of the required $1 million for these institutions. Children in difficult circumstances were allocated only $500 000 when $1,3 million. At least 5 700 children need to be supported in 78 institutions.

— Agencies/Staff Reporter

1 COMMENT

  1. They shall be fed by their sovereign and empowered government. They have the land and the companies to generate money and food.

Comments are closed.