• Severe hunger crisis grips Zimbabwe as over 7 million people face starvation
  • UN responds with a $429 million aid appeal to provide urgent food assistance
  • Lifeline launched to combat the dire situation and save lives in Zimbabwe's battle against hunger

Harare- The United Nations has launched a humanitarian appeal for US$429 million to address the severe hunger crisis affecting an estimated 7 million Zimbabweans, approximately half of the country's population.

The urgency for aid arises from Zimbabwe's recent experience of the worst drought in 40 years and the lowest harvest in nearly a decade since 2016. In 2016, the country produced 512,000 tonnes of maize, and the projected harvest for the 2023/2024 season is only 696,116 tonnes, which is 72% lower than the previous season's output.

This decline is alarming considering that Zimbabwe requires 1.8 million tonnes of maize for food consumption, in addition to 400,000 tonnes for livestock feed.

The situation prompted the government to declare a national disaster in April, attributing the drought to the El Niño climate event.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated that the country needs US$2 billion in aid to assist the millions of people facing hunger. Private grain millers are expected to import 1.4 million tonnes of maize by July of the following year.

According to the United Nations, approximately 7.6 million Zimbabweans, or about half of the population, urgently require humanitarian assistance, including food, protection, and support for their livelihoods.

This hunger crisis coincides with a challenging economic situation in Zimbabwe, as the country introduces a new currency that relies on US dollar reserves.

Furthermore, commodity prices, particularly for platinum group metals (PGMs), are plummeting to record lows is exacebating the situation.

Addressing corruption where over US$2 billion is lost annually and managing expenditures will be crucial for the government to effectively address these challenges.

Equally important is the equitable distribution of aid, as Zimbabwe has a history of politicizing aid, leaving those most in need without sufficient support.

Equity Axis News