US provides lifeline to hungry families in Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe farmer

Hunger is at a four-year high in Zimbabwe with one quarter of the rural population (2.2 million people) expected to experience food shortages in the early months of next year. This is one third more people requiring food support than during the peak of the last lean season, according to the 2013 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee rural livelihoods report, led by the Government with support from the UN and other partners.

The current high levels of food insecurity are being attributed to various factors including adverse weather, the unavailability or high cost of agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers and projected high cereal prices.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed US$25 million to support vulnerable families suffering the effects of drought and a poor harvest in Zimbabwe. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) will use this contribution, along with additional donor funding, to support a relief operation for 1.8 million of the most food-insecure people during the "lean season" between October and March 2014, when the next harvest is due.

WFP Country Director Sory Ouane said "This generous contribution from the United States will assist around 500,000 especially vulnerable people who harvested little, have few income options, and are struggling to buy food as prices continue to rise."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:   1’20″

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