Hunger in the news

1 August 2012

An estimated 1.6 million people in the rural areas of Zimbabwe will require food aid next year, according to a food needs assessment report. (..) Sporadic rainfall, limited access to agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers, and inadequate farming practices are being blamed for increasing levels of vulnerability and acute food insecurity in the country, said the World Food Programme (WFP). (..) Rural people are starting to feel the effects of the drought. "Our field staff are already reporting signs of distress in rural areas, including empty granaries and farmers selling off their livestock to make ends meet," said WFP country director Felix Bamezon.

11 April 2012

Zimbabwe was once southern Africa's breadbasket. (..) For more than 10 consecutive years since President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a land reform program targeting white farmers, Zimbabwe has had to import food to avert hunger as its new farmers cannot produce enough. The United Nations estimates that at least 1.5 million people need food aid in Zimbabwe.

20 March 2012

Zimbabwe faces a huge grain deficit this year after a third of the current maize crop was written off due to a prolonged dry spell, state media reported on Monday. (..) Zimbabwe is likely to resort to grain imports, although there were fears that regional suppliers South Africa, Zambia and Malawi may not be in a position to export.

20 March 2012

Today, thanks to a “food-for-assets” programme which helps vulnerable rural communities repair and develop essential local infrastructure in exchange for food aid, Tsenga's residents have reconnected themselves to the outside world by rebuilding the old bridge and repairing 8km of severely damaged road passing through their district. (..) WFP country director Felix Bamezon told IRIN the programme was started in 2009 in districts with a track record of recurrent food insecurity with the aim of improving livelihood opportunities for vulnerable households and reducing their dependence on emergency food aid.

6 February 2012

WFP deputy country director Simon Camelbeeck cautioned though that the food program, set to run through March and already benefiting at least 150,000 people nationwide, may be hampered by a funding gap of $12 million. Camelbeeck said the beneficiaries are currently receiving a food basket which includes maize meal, cooking oil and beans.

28 December 2011

Veteran small-scale farmer Trynos Mamombe has returned to maize farming after two years, thanks to a multi-partner initiative which is helping him to market his crop and get paid for it promptly (…). The World Food Programme (WFP) initiative which is prompting Mamombe's return to maize farming involves technical support to smallholder farmers and the identification of local traders who can guarantee them prompt cash payments and low transport costs as a result of a more efficient marketing policy. WFP then buys the grain from the traders to distribute in its food assistance programmes.

23 November 2011

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was facing a $42 million (31 million euros) funding shortfall for food aid it planned to provide to vulnerable households in Zimbabwe's hardest-hit areas until the start of the harvest season in March.

23 November 2011

Production of staple maize has recovered since Zimbabwe's national unity government was formed in early 2009, rising from less than 500,000 tonnes in the 2007-2008 season to 1.45 million tonnes in the 2010-2011 cropping season. But production remains below the required 2 million tonnes the country needs to be self-sufficient. "Although food is generally available in many rural areas, it is too expensive for those with limited resources," the WFP said in a statement.

23 November 2011

More than one million Zimbabweans will struggle for food between now and March, according to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which has already begun assisting the most vulnerable but needs $42 million to fund its activities in the Southern African nation.

2 November 2011

The US-based Famine Early Warning Systems Network has estimated that about 10 percent of the Zimbabwean population will need food aid for the rest of this year, rising to 11.5 percent when the so-called hunger season peaks in early 2012. (..) Fernando Arroyo, local head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid, said the World Food Program and other agencies will source and roll out seasonal targeted assistance.