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World Food Program Gears Up For Looming Zimbabwe 'Hunger Season'

A spokesman for the World Food Program said on Tuesday, World Food Day, that its logistical pipeline of food assistance Zimbabwe has been bringing nutrition to the most vulnerable groups since last month and that the agency will continue to gear up its provision of food aid looking to feed 4 million people by March of 2008.

The United Nations agency is continuing to appeal to donors for assistance on behalf of the country although Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in September that his government had matters in hand.

WFP Southern African Regional Information Officer Richard Lee said the agency has been feeding vulnerable rural dwellers through a program launched in September.

Lee told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his agency is scaling up operations anticipating the period of most critical need in the first three months of 2008 when Zimbabwe will be deep into its "hunger season."

Meanwhile, British nongovernmental aid provider Tearfund launched its own appeal on Monday to raise funds for food assistance for Zimbabwe and to support churches in the country which are involved in advocacy work on behalf of the poor.

Tearfund Zimbabwe Desk Officer Nick Burn said the organization, which has worked in Zimbabwe before, felt compelled to help those at risk of going hungry.

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