Rutendo Rori Herald Correspondent
OVER 18 000 children in Binga, Matabeleland North Province, face severe malnutrition owing to food shortages and the majority of them have dropped out of school, the United Nations Resident Coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli has said.
In a statement, Mr Parajuli said a two-day tour of Matabeleland North showed that Binga was in dire need of food, animal feed and water.
“The delegation visited a clinic in Simatelele to observe how the health service is coping with the drought situation. The Simatelele Clinic supported by Save the Children and the United Nations agencies (UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank) is tackling an increase in cases of malnutrition (regularly screening over 18 000 children monthly out of a total 22 000 children.)
“The clinic showed that due to the prevailing unprecedented drought situation, several hard hit localities have become hotspots of high malnutrition,” said Mr Parajuli.
He said there was an urgent need to provide pupils with meals at school to avert further drop outs due to hunger.
“The farming communities have lost their harvest to drought and had no chance of replanting. The situation in Binga District calls for an increased and continued humanitarian assistance, including food, nutrition, school meal, animal feed and water,” said Mr Parajuli.
At least four million people are in need of food aid in Zimbabwe.
Poor rains erased any hope of a good harvest this season.
Government has vowed no one will die of hunger and is importing maize from the region and beyond.