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Challenging UN Life Expectancy Data, Harare Cancels Food Survey

Harare has cancelled a joint crop and food assessment with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. A spokesman for the Rome-based FAO said it received a letter from Zimbabwe's Ministry of Agriculture cancelling the upcoming project.

Zimbabwe said it will conduct the survey on its own. Harare is reportedly unhappy with a recent World Health Organization report on life expectancy that put the average for Zimbabwean women at 34 years, the lowest of any country in the world. Harare also complains that agencies have issued food projections without its approval, this apparently a reference to the U.S.-based Famine Early Warning System.

FAO food food emergency officer Kisan Gujal told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe said Harare's decision could hamper efforts to secure funding from donor nations to supplement insufficient supplies of maize and other staples.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...