Nearly 7 million Zimbabweans need food aid: UN

Published on 29 January 2009

Zimbabwe's humanitarian disaster is far worse than anticipated with only six percent of the population formally employed and more than half in need of emergency food aid, a UN report said Thursday. Fewer than half a million Zimbabweans have jobs, while nearly seven million need emergency aid, UN agencies said in the latest stark illustration of the once-vibrant economy's collapse. The new grim estimate by the World Food Programme means that more than half of Zimbabwe's 12 million people do not have enough to eat, WFP regional spokesman Richard Lee told AFP. [...] "The economic situation has worsened more dramatically than we had anticipated," Lee said. The crisis has deteriorated so quickly that the agency is being forced to halve the cereal rations given to hungry Zimbabweans so that all the people in need can receive aid, he added. The WFP now plans to feed 5.1 million people, while other agencies will feed an additional 1.8 million people, Lee said.

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Agence France Presse (AFP)