By Staff Writer
The World Food Program (WFP) has launched a US$130m emergency appeal for Zimbabwe after warning that half of the population could be food insecure as COVID-19 spreads across the country.
According to the WFP, a nationwide assessment shows that the number of Zimbabweans in need of food aid rose to from 3,8 million last year to 7,7 million after the country experienced one of its worst El Nino induced droughts in over a decade.
“The total number of food-insecure people stands at 7.7 million, more than half of the population. The US$130 million being urgently sought by WFP is part of a total food assistance requirement of US$472 million through to December, read the WFP statement.
“COVID-19 threatens to exacerbate Zimbabwe’s dire economic and hunger crises, drastically affecting the lives of people in both urban and rural areas. WFP has a critical role to play by sustaining its scaled-up food assistance program – and must be able to deliver at full capacity –while supporting the country’s response to the pandemic.
“It is pre-positioning three months of food and cash assistance, rolling out new risk-control measures at distributions – increasing their number to prevent overcrowding, initiating handwashing and monitored social distancing – and launching a communications campaign to convey essential health and safety information.”
Official figures show that Zimbabwe’s Cereal production plunged by 50% in 2019 compared to the prior year. Get all COVID-19 statistics for Zimbabwe from COVID-TRACKER