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Medecins Sans Frontieres Highlights Violence, Rape of Zimbabwe Border Crossers


Medecins Sans Frontiers said its health workers in Musina, South Africa, close to the border, have treated 103 survivors of sexual violence so far this year

Medecins Sans Frontières issued a report on Wednesday saying more and more Zimbabweans are being raped, brutalized and robbed while they are illegally entering South Africa across the Limpopo River.

The group said its health workers in Musina, South Africa, close to the border, have treated 103 survivors of sexual violence so far this year. VOA Studio 7 correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported from Johannesburg.

United Nations World Food Program is doing a survey of food availability in Zimbabwe to help it determine where aid may be required. A Zimbabwe state survey has projected a big shortfall of cereals due to a poor crop season in southern portions of the country which were hit by drought during the growing season.

However, a World Food Program spokesman said the agency also aims to shift its strategy from distributing food to bolstering food self-sufficiency in Zimbabwe, also providing cash for food to avoid distorting local markets.

The government this week issued an assessment of crops and livestock showing a likely deficit of 459,000 tonnes of cereals. It said 20 of the country's 62 districts will not produce enough food to meet local needs, especially in Masvingo and Matebeleland South provinces and some parts of Manicaland province.

World Food Program Senior Public Affairs Officer Peter Smerdon told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that another food assessment is under way to determine the true shortfall and help the WFP formulate aid plans.

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