'Zim has 6 months food stocks'

HARARE - Zimbabwe has enough food stocks to tackle the worsening food crisis for the next six months, Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira said.

This comes as a senior principal director in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Albert Chikondo, said the number of people in urgent need of food has increased from 30 to 79 percent in most drought-stricken provinces of the country.

“Yes, the government has adequate stocks of grain to meet increasing demands for up to six months,” Mupfumira told the Daily News, adding that “we have now included peri-urban vulnerables (through) the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac)”.

Zimbabwe is among southern African countries that have been ravaged by the El Nino-induced drought.

According to the latest Zimvac report, an estimated 4, 1 million Zimbabweans will be food insecure between January and March 2017 due to the drought.

Areas hardest hit by the drought are Matabeleland and Masvingo provinces, where dam levels are as low as 11 percent.

Chikondo said government has managed to acquire 216 000 metric tonnes of grain, but called on the United Nations (UN) to chip in with more food support.

“We have embarked on a programme to farm 400 000 hectares of land. However, despite government endeavours to ensure those in need get assistance, the UN should also scale up its support,” Chikondo said.

UN resident coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, said his organisation planned to reach as many people as possible, despite the challenges that many aid agencies and workers face.

He said of the required $360 million in drought response action, $190 million has been raised by aid agencies and will be extended to other vulnerable groups in urban areas and migrants.

Comments (1)

Remember that in 1980 we had two years of grain stockpiled that our corrupt politicians promptly sold

Learnmore Ndlovu - 27 August 2016

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