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Zimbabwe Top on USA Food Aid List

  • Gibbs Dube

FILE: A young boy carries a box with items distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme in Mwenezi, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Sept. 9 2015.

FILE: A young boy carries a box with items distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme in Mwenezi, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Sept. 9 2015.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says Zimbabwe is a top priority for Washington in the provision of food aid amid reports of donor fatigue.

Jason Taylor, chief of the Office of Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience at USAID Zimbabwe, says indications are that the food situation will worsen in the country as most crops have failed this season.

The United Nations has prepared a revised humanitarian response plan, which identifies priority humanitarian needs of slightly over $355 million for the period April 2016 to march 2017 to address the immediate needs of 2.8 million drought-affected people.

This is 30 percent of the total rural population. The World Food Program and UNICEF say responses to their financial aid appeals have not been encouraging, with WFP facing a funding gap of $200 million while UNICEF has not received any funds towards its $21 million humanitarian appeal.

In a related development, a Brisith-based Zimbabwean Jason Matewu has donated 200 bags of mealie meal to the most vulnerable people in rural Buhera West.

Matewu told VOA Studio 7 it is important for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to help the needy as the food crisis worsens.

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