UN / ZIMBABWE HUNGER

30-Jul-2020 00:01:03
With COVID-19 aggravating an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday appealed for an additional (USD) 250 million to support a rapidly expanding emergency operation for millions at-risk. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / ZIMBABWE HUNGER
TRT: 1:03
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

30 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General:
In Zimbabwe, where 60 per cent of the population is projected to be food insecure by the end of the year, the World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for an additional $250 million.
WFP said that the already severe hunger crisis is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. WFP is calling for international support to prevent what it calls a potential humanitarian catastrophe. A nationwide lockdown has led to massive joblessness in urban areas, while hunger in rural areas is on the rise due to the return of now unemployed migrants to their villages and the absence of vital remittances. Hyperinflation has pushed the prices of basics beyond the means of many Zimbabweans. Due to lack of funding, WFP will only be able to help 700,000 of the 1.8 million people it had intended to reach. With additional resources, WFP hopes to reach 4 million of the most vulnerable people this year.”

FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

3. Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters
STORYLINE
With COVID-19 aggravating an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today (30 Jul) appealed for an additional (USD) 250 million to support a rapidly expanding emergency operation for millions at-risk.

WFP projections indicate that by year’s end, the number of food insecure Zimbabweans will have surged by almost 50 percent to touch 8.6 million – a staggering 60 percent of the population – owing to the combined effects of drought, economic recession and the pandemic.

A nationwide lockdown, reinforced last week, has precipitated massive joblessness in urban areas, while rural hunger is accelerating because now unemployed migrants are returning to their villages and the absence of the vital remittances they provided is more keenly felt.

Subsistence farming families who make up three-quarters of Zimbabwe’s population and produce most of its food are also hurting because of a third successive drought-hit harvest this year. It yielded only 1.1 million MT of maize, the staple cereal, well down on last year’s already poor 2.4 million MT and less than half the national requirement. This, in turn, presages even more severe hunger in early 2021, the peak of the next “lean” season.

Hyperinflation is a feature of the country’s profound economic crisis and has pushed the prices of basics beyond the means of many Zimbabweans. Last month, maize prices more than doubled in Harare, the capital. Increasingly desperate families are eating less, selling off precious belongings and going into debt.

With maize set to be an increasingly untenable crop in many arid regions of the country as temperatures rise, WFP is promoting the cultivation of drought-resistant, nutritious and indigenous alternatives like sorghum and millet. This is part of a broader campaign to help vulnerable communities build resilience to increasingly frequent and severe climate shocks.

Donations permitting, WFP intends to assist 4 million of the most vulnerable this year – those suffering “crisis” and “emergency” hunger – and scale up to 5 million in January-April next year, the peak of the lean season.

As the already dire situation worsens, more contributions are urgently needed. This month, for lack of funding, WFP will only reach 700,000 of 1.8 million intended recipients.
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