HARARE (Reuters) – The United Nations on Thursday launched an international appeal for aid for Zimbabwe following a drought that it expects to affect around a third of the population as crop yields plummet.
Seasonal rains have been patchy at best, hitting the harvest of the staple maize crop and deepening an economic crisis marked by an acute dollar crunch that has already led to shortages of medicines, fuel and food.
The UN was seeking $234 million in emergency aid in response, its Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Mark Lowcock told reporters in Harare.
Farmers groups say the maize harvest, which starts in April, may be less than 1 million tonnes compared with 1.7 million in 2018, and the UN estimated on Tuesday that 5.3 million Zimbabweans would require aid.
Zimbabwe’s annual maize consumption is 1.8 million tonnes and the Ministry of Agriculture said it is still assessing the extent of the drought, while Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the country has 500,000 tonnes in a strategic reserve.
After a meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Lowcock said he would officially launch the appeal later on Thursday.
As well as trying to resolve an economic crisis, Mnangagwa is struggling to maintain control over security forces following brutal crackdowns against anti-government protests that carried reminders of the regime of long-time leader Robert Mugabe.
more recommended stories
Corruption and poverty increasing drug and alcohol abuse in Zimbabwe
The future is bleak for many.
Hoisting a red cloth to signal funeral, Zimbabwean culture or what?
So, how did we end up.
Maynard Manyowa fights to clear his name after claims he beat up his wife
Public figure and celebrated journalist and.
DJ Mel, ‘Queen of Happy’ Speaks On Why Charity Work Is Important
When I help people especially young.
The way I see it; xenophobia and operation Dudula
What I find ironic is that.
The Church factor will be key in the next general election in Zimbabwe
Church has become a big influence.
Makandiwa’s comments and praise for Mnangagwa’s government are not unscriptural
Makandiwa’s comments and praise for Mnangagwa’s.
New Details Emerge Zimbabwean Cricketer Procter Saurombe might have been murdered
NEW details have emerged of how.