HARARE - The World Economic Forum (Wef) says emphatically that the majority of Zimbabweans will starve in 2016.
In its Global Risks Perception Survey for this year, Wef said the food crisis currently facing the nation would escalate to starvation soon, with people in the rural areas set to be the worst hit.
“The Sub-Saharan country has a starvation risk this year, especially among its rural population which heavily depends on agriculture for subsistence.
“The country is expecting a drought this year, a direct effect of the El Nino effect, so aid mobilisation is crucial to mitigate impending starvation” the Wef survey said.
The global economic watchdog also said the risk of a fiscal crisis in Zimbabwe stood at 61,5 percent, while the risk of failure of national governance stood at 51,9 percent.
According to the Wef risk barometer, the likelihood of state collapse stood at 40,4 percent.
The grim predictions come as Zimbabwe was recently ranked number 18 in the top 20 countries most prone to hunger in the years 2015-16, after scoring 30,8 on a hunger index out of 50 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The organisation said the southern African country, which has been receiving unreliable rainfall in the past two years — and once a regional breadbasket — was going to see “starvation-ranking hunger” in 2016.
“The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) defines food deprivation, or undernourishment, as the consumption of fewer than about 1 800 kilocalories a day.
“This is the minimum that most people require to live a healthy and productive life, and Zimbabwe, like most countries in Africa is going to be ravaged by hunger in the years under review,” the IFPRI said.
According to the FAO, an estimated 1,5 million people — 16 percent of the population — were currently projected to be food insecure, a 164 percent increase in food insecurity compared to last year.