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Zimbabwe faces imminent food crisis by month’s end

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has recently received approximately US$32 million in drought relief aid, aimed at addressing the severe food insecurity affecting the country. Despite this substantial amount, concerns remain as it may not suffice to cover the needs of at least 70% of the nation’s 60 districts, expected to face cereal shortages by the end of the month.

The funding includes a US$31.8 million disbursement from the African Risk Capacity (ARC) for the 2023/24 Drought Insurance Payout. Of this amount, the government received US$16.8 million, with the remainder distributed to ARC replica partners—the World Food Programme (WFP) and Start Network—receiving US$6.1 million and US$8.9 million respectively. These funds are projected to assist 29 districts across Zimbabwe.

The situation is dire, with the government indicating that out of 60 rural districts, 42 have only three months’ worth of cereal self-sufficiency for the upcoming consumption year from April 2024 to March 2025. This crisis stems from an El-Niño-induced drought, which has pushed over half of the country’s population into needing urgent food aid.

To tackle this challenge, the government has revised its appeal for food relief funding from US$2 billion to US$3 billion. Despite efforts to reassure the public, including declaring the drought a national disaster and mobilizing resources from aid agencies and partners, significant gaps in addressing the food crisis persist.

According to recent reports, nearly eight million people—more than half of Zimbabwe’s population—will require food assistance. Already, alarming statistics from UNICEF show that thousands of children are suffering from wasting, a condition characterized by severe malnutrition and physical deterioration.

Looking ahead, the outlook remains grim as many households have depleted their own food stocks following a poor harvest, exacerbated by limited water availability and reduced agricultural production of staple crops like maize and tobacco.

The international response has included initiatives like the ARC, which provides critical disaster risk financing to member states like Zimbabwe. However, despite these efforts, the need for sustained support and increased collaboration among stakeholders to bolster food security and mitigate the impacts of climate-related disasters remains urgent.

In other news – Nomvelo Makhanya, former Scandal actor shares journey to healing post-show exit

Former TV “Scandal!” actor Nomvelo Makhanya, known for her role as Lindiwe Ngema, revealed in a podcast interview that she has finally healed after leaving the long-running soap opera unexpectedly.

Having entered the industry at just 16 years old, Makhanya spent nine years on the show before her character’s departure. Speaking with Ancillar Nombewu on the ‘Access Genie Podcast with Ancillar Nombewu’, she discussed the pain and shock she initially felt when Lindiwe was written out of the series. Read More

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