Zimbabweans To Get Food Aid From WFP As High Cost Of Living Bites

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WFPAbout 3.8 million Zimbabweans will benefit from a World Food Programme (WFP) food aid amid the country’s rising cost of living crisis. Business Insider Africa understands that the UN agency had budgeted $40 million for the project scheduled to commence in October.

Zimbabwe has been grappling with unfavourable macroeconomic conditions since the 2000s, including hyperinflation and a faltering local currency. And recently, the situation has been exacerbated by failing crop yields and the economic fallouts of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Last month, Zimbabwe’s inflation rate climbed to 285% from 256.9% in July. Interestingly, the country’s inflation rate was just 61% in January.

Unfortunately, Zimbabwe currently has the highest food inflation rate in Africa at 309%. The implication is that many people struggle to afford essential food items, especially maize/corn, a staple in the country.

Maize harvest in the country would decline to 1.56 million tonnes in 2022 from 2.72 million tonnes in 2021, the government forecast has shown.

The decline is due to inadequate rainfall during the past growing season.

Francesca Erldelmann, a WFP country representative in Zimbabwe who spoke to Reuters, described the situation as bad but said it is not yet a famine.

“I do not think this is famine as yet, but that does not mean that it is good. We are preparing for a response that will take off from October up to March. We are working with the government on a joint plan for the food deficit mitigation programme and that is for 3.8 million people,” Erldelmann said.

Note that the Southern African country needs about 2.2 million tonnes of maize per annum to feed both humans and livestock. At the moment, it doesn’t have that. And the number of food insecure people from 2.9 million to 3.8 million. The situation could get worse.



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