Thursday, November 23, 2006

Zim food aid running dry

"...The United Nations agency has been asking donors to provide US $60 million for the Southern African region, but with little result. Zimbabwe needs US$17 million dollars for the "lean season" between this December and March of next year.

In a statement, senior Australian foreign affairs official Tony Parkinson said the aid just pledged comes on top of Australia’s contribution of US$3 million to international humanitarian aid relief efforts for Zimbabwe during 2005 and 2006....

Humanitarian groups said donors are currently riveted by the humanitarian situation in Sudan’s Darfur region, where Sudanese-backed militias have murdered hundreds of thousands of villagers and driven hundreds of thousands more into camps.

But Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube remarked this week that more people are dying in Zimbabwe each week than in Darfur. He said some 3,500 people die each week from what he called a “unique convergence of malnutrition, poverty and aids.”

The WFP said in May that about 1.4 million Zimbabweans would be in critical need of food aid this year. But it was obliged to scale back operations in October to half of the 900,000 people it had been targeting, said WFP spokesman Mike Huggins. ...

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