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Zimbabwe imports corn as catastrophic hunger looms

As many as eight million people are suffering from hunger in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is facing food shortages after drought withered crops last year and threatens to do the same in 2020. Image: Bloomberg

Facing catastrophic hunger, Zimbabwe will import corn from Mexico, Ukraine and neighbouring South Africa to help feed as many as eight million of its citizens — over half the population — after drought withered crops last year and threatens to do the same in 2020.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the imports Friday, while cleaning litter in the streets of Kuwadzana, an impoverished township on Harare’s western city limits.

“With the difficulty of things now, the industry ministry is looking at adding cooking oil, salt, bread and soap to the list of subsidised items for consumers,” Mnangagwa said. The government would withdraw trading licenses from retailers over-charging for cornmeal, the country’s staple food, he said.

Zimbabwe consumes about 2.2 million metric tons of corn a year for humans and farm animals.

The World Food Programme said December 31 that it plans to feed at least four million of Zimbabwe’s estimated eight million hungry this year, but said the international community needs to step up with cash donations because it hasn’t raised the money yet. Typically, aid agencies in Zimbabwe provide cash to consumers so they can buy food, because it’s logistically easier and more cost-effective.

The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Network System, known as Fewsnet, said in December the drought that scorched Zimbabwe’s crops last year looks set to continue into 2020. If that happens, it’ll leave poor Zimbabweans scratching for food until at least March 2021 — and with about 90% of adults outside formal work, most people face poverty.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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COMMENTS   10

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Get out the begging bowl Zimbabwe, we are all eager to donate, Aren’t we?

What is it with African countries – they despise the colonial history of their country yet they are totally incapable of implementing a working and functioning government strategy to advance the wealth of their population. Seems that Africa is a continent of beggars

Colonial history bad.
Colonial money good.
Colonial money for free best.

Get your farmers back mnr pres. Asap. Marie Antoinette ring a bell?

How the mighty governments have failed in Africa under their traditional leaders.

Zimbabwe used to be the ”bread-basket” for Africa under the old Ian Smith regime – when everybody had the right to work and produce!

Drought is a very good excuse is it not.

With 90% unemployment even if there was food available they could not buy it could they.

They could buy food with the money the international community gives them.
International community is another term for ‘colonialists’.

You got what you voted for in 1980. You made your bed – now sleep in it.

Since 2000 the Zimbabwe Government evicted 4500 commercial (white) farming families and their Labour forces. The majority of evicted farmers left the properties beaten, traumatized and in poverty. None have been paid compensation.

Not one intervention was offered to evicted farmers, many of whom now face old age in poverty. Many have died from stress related diseases. They are either internalized refugees still living in Zimbabwe because they hold no other citizenship and can not leave.

In 2002 this happened to me and my family and today I live in South Africa and face many personal challenges for the reasons mentioned above.

The farm I was part of produced US$1,5 million in revenues every month from the export of fresh vegetables to United Kingdom. We owned and operated a European standard packing shed and employed 3500. We operated a program to support black farmers, as well as support many local community programs. Today this property lies empty. Looted, vandalized and home to a few subsistence villagers.

During the drought years Zimbabwe held food reserves – massive grain silos, which fed the nation during years of disaster. Today, these stand empty.

The disaster in Zimbabwe is man made and giving cash or food aid will bandage the wound, but what is needed is an urgent call to lance the festering abscess known as ZanuPF.

Suffering is necessary to precede an uprising. The uprising will only come from within – when the army and police are starving.

Giving cash and food to Zimbabwe is a guarantee to more of the same – and food distribution will be based on political affiliation – and line the pockets of that disgusting elite.

Facebook @justicedeniedzimbabwe

End of comments.

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