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Zimbabwe Not Prepared for Looming Drought - Officials

  • Gibbs Dube

State officials said Monday that Zimbabwe will have to appeal for international assistance to feed the needy since its 2011 national budget does not have a provision for food handouts.

Zimbabwean officials said Monday government was ill-prepared for a looming drought in the drought-ravaged provinces of Matabeleland, Masvingo and Midlands where crops have been reduced to dust bowls due to inadequate rains.

They said government has already started assessing the crop situation in the affected regions in order to avert serious food shortages.

The officials said Zimbabwe will have to appeal for international assistance to feed the needy since its 2011 national budget of US$2.7 billion does not have a provision for food handouts.

Although Welfare Minister Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa was not available for comment, officials said they expected relief agencies to move in soon after a crop assessment is done.

Agriculturalist Mandla Nkomo told VOA Studio 7 Gibbs Dube that despite a friction with donors, humanitarian agencies are expected to help regions facing the looming drought.

“There is no way Zimbabwe can manage to tackle a devastating drought without humanitarian assistance,” said Nkomo.

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