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Fewsnet Warns of Prolonged Lean Season in Zimbabwe

Fewsnet recommends that food assistance should be extended

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) has warned that the peak of the lean season in most parts of Zimbabwe will continue resulting in the extension of food assistance by one month from March to April.

In a statement released Tuesday, Fewsnet said due to the lack of green farm produce and reduced livelihood options, most households were currently facing a food crisis.

Fewsnet said it expects the availability of cereals from the main harvest in May to be limited, resulting in about 1.7 million people to face a food crisis from June to September.

The organization also said though the current rainfall has improved pasture conditions, immediate assistance is needed to protect livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps.

The government said at least 4 million people need urgent food aid due to the El Nino-induced drought.

Food expert Rev. Forbes Matonga said that the situation is dire in most parts of the country.

“The crisis is deeper and what it means, we are now moving from another food aid program to another food aid program without having a break,” Rev. Matonga said.

He added that this means that people have to go back to the main food pipes, which are the World Food Program and the government itself and other countries like the EU and the United States that donate to the World Food Program.

He recommended those in areas where late rains are still falling to grow at least some vegetables which they can dry.

“We encourage nutritionists and all other people who know how to help prepare food retain its nutrients to do that (dry vegetables) so that you know, when food is coming at least they have the relish they can only be assisted with grain,” he added.

Rev. Matonga said this will allow the agencies to at least procure more grain that to provide both grain and beans and everything that go with it.

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