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Local Aid Agencies Warn Harare of Impending Food Shortage

The Zimbabwean government has dismissed warnings from local humanitarian groups that supplies of food for distribution to the needy are getting dangerously low.

The nongovernmental organizations say unless Harare formally requests an extension of their food distribution programs with international donors, they cannot guarantee that the most vulnerable segments of the population will have enough food.

But public affairs director William Nhara of the office of President Robert Mugabe said the Grain Marketing Board has been taking in good quantities of grain from farmers as the harvest progresses. Nhara said international donors should focus on providing aid to refugees in Sudan's western Darfur region rather than to Zimbabweans.

Though a substantial increase in rainfall this year seems likely to have boosted crop yields, Reverend Forbes Matonga, director of Christian Care, a main conduit for food aid to vulnerable groups, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that not all parts of the country are enjoying good harvests.

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