Harare- Zimbabwe remains in the grip of severe food insecurity a Global Food Crisis Report Forecast (GFCRF) has revealed.
The joint report, released by the European Union, FAO, OCHA, UNICEF, USAID and WFP anticipates a worsening food insecurity situation in 2020 with an estimated 4.3 million rural Zimbabweans, including children, are in need of urgent action.
“On top of environmental factors, this is mainly due to the current economic crisis including hyperinflation, shortage of currency, fuel and prolonged power shortages; widespread poverty; high levels of HIV/AIDS; and low agricultural output as drivers of the crisis” read the report
World Food Programme Country Director, Eddie Rowe called for urgent food assistance to prevent the population from sinking deeper into a hunger crisis.
“Millions of Zimbabweans are already struggling to put food on the table, having faced prolonged drought and economic hardship for some time. It is imperative that we unite, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe and provide urgent food assistance safely to prevent an already vulnerable population from slipping deeper into this hunger crisis,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Eddie Rowe.
More than half of the children experiencing malnutrition are living in countries affected by the food crisis. The GFCRF estimates that 75 million children worldwide are stunted and 17 million are wasted.
Zimbabwe is also one of 10 countries where fewer than 20% of children between 6-23 months received a minimally adequate diet further compromising their lifelong quality of life, according to the report.
“Food crises have a major impact on the quality, frequency and diversity of children’s diets and this is compounded by the inability for families across the country to provide adequate childcare during these increasingly challenging times,” said UNICEF Representative, Laylee Moshiri. “During this COVID-19 pandemic we must act decisively to continue essential nutrition and health services for all children.”
FAO Representative Jocelyn Brown Hall said, “Measures to curb the further spread of COVID-19 have the potential to impact negatively on the food system in Zimbabwe, such as through restricted access to markets by both farmers and consumers, and a glut of perishable nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. Deliberate measures are needed to prevent and mitigate against these.”
Globally the report states that in 2019, 135 million people across 55 countries and territories experienced acute food insecurity.
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