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Zimbabwe appeals for $2 billion to avert food insecurity

Zimbabwe is expecting a 2024 harvest of 868,000 metric tons of grain

Zimbabwe is expecting a 2024 harvest of 868,000 metric tons of grain

Zimbabwe appealed to the United Nations, aid agencies and individuals on Wednesday for $2 billion to avert food insecurity caused by an El Nino-induced drought.

At the State House in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a nationwide state of disaster. He told reporters that Zimbabwe is expecting a harvest of 868,000 metric tons of grain this year — far short of expectations and about 680,000 tons less than the country needs.

"Preliminary assessment shows that Zimbabwe requires in excess of $2 billion toward various interventions we envisage in the spectrum of our national response,” he said.

Zimbabwe isn’t alone. Malawi and Zambia declared a state of disaster earlier this year due to the drought. Edward Kallon, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Zimbabwe, said the world body is monitoring the severe impact of the ongoing dry spell in southern Africa. He said the crisis has far-reaching consequences across various sectors, including food and nutrition security, health, water resources, education and jobs.

So far, Kallon said, the UN has allocated $5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund for needs such as water, hygiene, sanitation, food and medical response to a cholera outbreak.

“The UN pledges its support to the government of Zimbabwe in mobilizing resources to tackle the El Nino-induced drought,” he said. “Efforts are underway to finalize a response plan.”

Paul Zakariya, executive director of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, said that while nothing can be done to stop climate change effects, irrigation farming is one of the methods that can be used to mitigate calamity.

“Only depending on rain-fed agriculture, we will not go too far,” Zakariya said.

The government should ensure that even farmers with small amounts of land can irrigate, he said.

“With irrigation, our farmers are producing all year round,” he said.

Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa, has largely depended on handouts from organizations such as the World Food Program and the US Agency for International Development in the last 20-plus years. The government attributes the food shortages to recurring droughts.

Critics attribute the problem to the confiscation of land from white commercial farmers who produced crops all year round. They were replaced with peasant farmers who let irrigation systems fall into disrepair and are reliant on rain to grow their crops.

UN agencies said they will provide funding so Zimbabwe can revive the irrigation systems. Details are expected at a news conference on Thursday.


+1 #1 kabayekka 2024-04-05 09:41
It certainly seems these are Southern African countries that seem to have been abandoned by scientific personnel of the environmental kind.

One understands the famous River Zambezi flows all the way from Nsula ya Zambezi about the Southern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. That is great thick forests of the beautiful continent of Africa.

This great tropical river with plenty of fresh water to collect drives this water through about 4 African countries.

It makes itself through the Victoria falls and empties itself in Mozambique in the Indian ocean running for about 2200 miles! Why should this surviviving big water body for centuries leave Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe dry, deserts and people starving without food?
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0 #2 kabayekka 2024-04-05 15:20
Egypt uses the River Nile of over 3000 miles flowingto sustain itself in domestic food security and exports food and fruits for decades.

What is wrong with these starving African countries is the African leadership that fail to understand the major priorities of their countries.

Their ambitions is to spend tax payers' money on themselves as if there is no tomorrow to stay put in state power. Unfortunately, the UN is well aware of such mismanagement and does not seem to care at all!
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0 #3 kabayekka 2024-04-06 11:41
The trouble with UN is its Western Countries attitude to Africa. UN spends its fat budget on very impossible projects!

That is why UN parks its old and worn out planes on the commercial airport at Entebbe now 40 years and counting as it stops the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi from African dictatorship that continuously cause African brutal civil wars and civilian starvation.
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