Over 1.5 million Zimbabweans need food: WFP

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In Zimbabwe, WFP is working to combat food insecurity by providing general food distributions to the at-risk populations. Photo: WFP/R. Lee

More than 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe urgently need food assistance as a result of poor rains and a drop in agricultural production, according to the United Nations food agency.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that most of the vulnerable people are in rural areas of the Southern African country.

The East and Southern Africa spokesperson for WFP, David Orr, says that about 40 districts, mostly in the southern part of Zimbabwe, have been affected by the food shortages.

"There is quite a serious food security situation in Zimbabwe at the moment. As many as 1.6 million people are in need of food assistance. That's 60 per cent higher than the one million who needed it last year. Various factors have come into play to cause this situation: late and erratic rainfall, in some areas a reduction in the amount of land actually planted with cereals and also limited access to agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers." (Duration: 29")

David Orr warns that the country is now coming to the so-called "lean or hunger season" when traditionally people face food shortages before the harvest in March.

WFP estimates that as many one in five people in the rural population of Zimbabwe will need food assistance in the next few months.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'27"

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