Stakeholders should respond adequately and timeously to food-insecure populations and build community resilience as a pivotal component of the response, United Nations resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli has said.
By Phyllis Mbanje
Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Southern Africa facing a severe drought, with development partners saying 1,5 million people in the country will need food aid until the next harvest.
The situation has been compounded by climate change and the El Nino-induced dry spells, which have seen many farmers losing their crops to drought.
“There is need to join hands and focus on responding adequately and timely to the urgent needs of the food-insecure population,” Parajuli said.
“The re-emergence of El Nino has worsened the situation and an estimated 30 million people are faced with food insecurity.”
According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s hydrological cycle forecast, water resource management for most of the catchments is already under strain.
As such, the prevailing reduced rainfall is also likely to have far-reaching implications on water supply for humans and livestock, as well as disruptions to hydropower production.
Deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Christian Katsande, said Zimbabwe would face a significant increase in food and nutrition insecurity.
“Rehabilitation of national irrigation infrastructure for increased food production has to be scaled up urgently,” he said.
The UN co-ordinator, however, promised to continue working with the government in its effort to accelerate economic recovery.
A joint UN statement issued last year pledged full support for the ongoing economic and budgetary reform measures being implemented by the government.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has been commended for making significant progress in re engaging the international community.
“Rewards of re-engagement will take time and demand consistent efforts to mature,” Parajuli said.