The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has planned a food relief programme targeting 3.8 million people in Zimbabwe from October to cushion the effects of a poor harvest and the Ukraine war.
Also, the government of Zimbabwe is reportedly working with agencies to provide food aid for 3.8 million people.
WFP Country Representative, Franscesca Erldelmann confirmed this development to Reuters on Tuesday.
WFP said it had budgeted $40 million for the food aid programme to relieve millions over the peak of the hunger season from October, when poor households run out of food stocks, to March next year when harvesting will start.
Erldelmann said, “I do not think this is famine as yet, but that does not mean that it is good. We are preparing for a response that will take off from October up to March. We are working with the government on a joint plan for the food deficit mitigation programme and that is for 3.8 million people.”
She added that food insecurity had risen from 2.9 million to 3.8 million, warning that more households could go hungry as grain stocks dwindle.
However, Zimbabwe’s government said it expected its staple maize harvest to fall by almost half this year, to 1.56 million tons from last season’s multi-year record of 2.72 million tons, due to poor rainfall in the 2021-22 growing season.
The country requires 2.2 million tons of maize annually for human and livestock consumption.