THE World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that its humanitarian food aid distribution programme could grind to a halt at the end of next month due to inadequate funding
from the donor community.
In its latest situation report, the WFP said it had food supplies to maintain planned programmes for targeted vulnerable groups only up to December.
“After that the programme is facing a pipeline break with potentially tragic consequences,” the WFP said.
The warning comes amid reports that donors have given less than a quarter of what the Zimbabwean government appealed for in July, throwing into disarray hopes of averting mass starvation in the country.
The WFP initially needed $308 million to feed 6,5 million people throughout southern Africa for the year to June next year. Out of the regional total, 4,5 million of the people in need of food aid are Zimbabweans.
Diplomatic sources said although donors felt overstretched this year due to the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia and other West African countries, disgust with President Robert Mugabe’s government was also hurting the appeal.
Sources said donor fatigue over Mugabe’s damaging economic and political policies was hurting the response to the appeal. The WFP said the food security situation was rapidly deteriorating throughout the country.
“It was noted that both the extent and rate of decline in both household self-reliance is most likely to increase, while at the same time national response capacity was decreasing,” it said.