Half of Zimbabwe's population, about 7.7 million people, are facing severe hunger and UN is calling for the supply of 240,000 tonnes of aid

Zimbabwe faces severe food crisis [Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP]
  • World Food Programme says Zimbabwe is facing its worst hunger crisis in a decade as farmers hit by unreliable rains
  • The country – once seen as the breadbasket of Africa - is in the grip of “man-made starvation” affecting half of its population.
  • The UN agency says 5.5 million people in the countryside and 2.2 million in urban areas need help, and acute malnutrition has risen to 3.6%, up from 2.5% last year.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has confirmed that Zimbabwe is facing its worst hunger crisis in a decade with half of the population – 7.7 million people – food insecure.

The UN agency stated this in a statement on Tuesday following last week’s warning from a UN-appointed independent rights expert that the country – once seen as the breadbasket of Africa - is in the grip of “man-made starvation”.

In Geneva, WFP spokesperson Bettina Luescher said that almost $300 million was needed urgently to supply some 240,000 tonnes of aid.

A climate disaster” and “economic meltdown” were to blame for the ongoing crisis, she explained, with normal rainfall recorded in just one of the last five growing seasons.

The increasingly unreliable rainy season affects subsistence farmers in particular as they grow maize - a very water-intensive crop, and many of these farmers are still recovering from the major 2014-16 El Nino-induced drought.

Also, “the crisis is being exacerbated by a dire shortage of currency, runaway inflation, mounting unemployment, lack of fuel, prolonged power outages and large-scale livestock losses, and they inflict the urban population just as well as rural villagers,” Ms. Luescher said.

WFP says it has now nearly doubled aid assistance in a bid to reach more than four million of those hardest-hit by the crisis.

According to the agency, 5.5 million people in the countryside and 2.2 million in urban areas need help, and acute malnutrition has risen to 3.6%, up from 2.5% last year.

Our newsletter gives you access to a curated selection of the most important stories daily.

Welcome to the Pulse Community! We will now be sending you a daily newsletter on news, entertainment and more. Also join us across all of our other channels - we love to be connected!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022