The World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for an additional US$250 million to support vulnerable communities in the country.
This comes as the number of people requiring food assistance is expected to increase due to Covid-19.
WFP projections indicate that by year-end, the number of food insecure Zimbabweans will have increased by almost 50 percent to 8,6 million, which constitutes 60 percent of the population.
WFP regional director for Southern Africa Lola Castro said many families in Zimbabwe were affected by food shortages.
“We need the international community to step up now to help us prevent a potential humanitarian catastrophe.”
“Subsistence farming families who make up three-quarters of Zimbabwe’s population and produce most of its food are also hurting because of a third successive drought that hit the harvest this year. It yielded only 1,1 million tonnes of maize, the staple cereal. This, in turn, presages even more severe hunger in early 2021, the peak of the next ‘lean’ season,” she said.
Due to climate change and its effects of crop yields, WFP is promoting the cultivation of drought-resistant, nutritious and indigenous alternatives like sorghum and millet.
This is part of a broader campaign to help vulnerable communities build resilience to increasingly frequent and severe climate shocks.
Donations permitting, WFP intends to assist four million of the most vulnerable this year — those suffering “crisis” and “emergency” hunger — and scale up to 5 million in January-April next year, the peak of the lean season.
As the already dire situation worsens, more contributions are urgently needed.