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WFP launches urgent appeal to help Zim

Augustine Mukaro

THE World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe has launched another urgent appeal for donations amid reports that food supplies could dry up next month in the face of a deteriorating situation i

n the country.

Responding to Zimbabwe Independent inquiries on a looming food pipeline break, WFP spokesperson Makena Walker said hundreds of people faced starvation if additional donations were not received soon.

“We are appealing for urgent donations,” Walker said.

“WFP is appealing for donations now because of the time lag between confirmed contributions and food actually reaching beneficiaries. Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans could be severely affected before the 2004 harvest if additional donations are not received soon,” she said.

Walker said the WFP had appealed to the international community for US$197 million in donations to feed 4,5 million people in Zimbabwe between July 2003 and June 2004.

“As of end-October, WFP had received only 43% (US$86 million), leaving a US$111 million shortfall.

“As of 31 October, WFP operations in Zimbabwe faced a cereal shortfall of 33% in January, 80% in February, and 100% in the critical pre-harvest month of March,” she said.

The WFP has distributed close to 300 000 tonnes of food aid this year. In October alone, the WFP distributed 23 800 tonnes of food to two million Zimbabweans.

In July Zimbabwe appealed for US$142 million to finance the importation of an estimated 711 835 tonnes of maize to make up for the deficit.

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