The number of people needing food aid in Zimbabwe has reached four million – more than a third of the country’s population, a state-owned newspaper has revealed.
Zimbabwe is struggling with its worst drought in more than two decades and government stocks of maize, the country’s staple food, will only last for three months, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira told the Herald newspaper.
Last month Zimbabwe – which has an estimated population of 14.2 million – appealed for £1.12m ($1.6bn) in aid to help pay for food after President Robert Mugabe declared a “state of disaster” in many rural areas.
The government has issued licences to private millers to import grain while organisations such as the United Nations’ World Food Programme are feeding one million people.
The drought and low mineral commodity prices are taking their toll on the economy, with finance minister Patrick Chinamasa saying last week it was “under siege”.
Farmers have already lost cattle and crops and fear more pain as the year progresses.
The El Nino weather pattern has also brought poor rains to other countries in the region, including South Africa, its biggest maize grower.
Zimbabwe Admits Four Million Need Food Aid
Source: Sky News