The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Zimbabwe, Alain Noudehou, has issued an appeal to donors for $415 million for 2011, saying an estimated 1.7 million Zimbabweans face hunger from January through March when the annual maize harvest begins.
Noudehou said one in three children in Zimbabwe is chronically malnourished. He said malnutrition is a factor in nearly 12,000 child deaths a year.
Zimbabwe has experienced a decade of food shortages due to drought and – say experts – as a result of the land reform program launched in 2000 by President Robert Mugabe, which severely disrupted the agricultural sector as white operators were ejected.
Christian Care National Director Reverend Forbes Matonga said donor agencies have already started distributing food in parts of the country most prone to drought.