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Government Bars MDC From Providing Food Aid

The Movement for Democratic Change has failed to secure a government permit to import 200,000 metric tons of grain, according to former MDC shadow minister for agriculture Renson Gasela, who said the MDC’s request was ignored.

The MDC also tried to organize food assistance in 2002, and had actually bought grain, but saw it seized at the Zimbabwe-South African border.

International relief sources say some five million Zimbabweans need food aid. The government of Zimbabwe has agreed to allow the World Food Program to provide food aid. However, Harare has not officially asked for food aid, and the WFP said this is making it difficult to arrange multilateral or bilateral funding.

The WFP presented a food vulnerability assessment to the cabinet last week, but the document has not been made public.

Reporter Patience Rusere of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Mr. Gasela about the MDC import license application and the food crisis.

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