UN warns of food crisis in Zimbabwe

7 August 2019

Zimbabwe food crisis. A baby is weighed and measured at a mobile baby clinic

A baby is weighed and measured at a mobile baby clinic in Zimbabwe.

The United Nations has warned that Zimbabwe is facing a major food crisis which could affect a third of its population – more than five million people.

CAFOD is already responding to this food crisis, which has been exacerbated by the recent Cyclone Idai.   

Donate: help us continue to support families affected by the food crisis

What has happened?

Verity Johnson, CAFOD’s Country Representative for Zimbabwe who is based in Harare, said:

“Years of economic turmoil and climate change, as well as the recent Cyclone Idai, are pushing families to the brink of starvation. Last year’s harvests failed, largely due to extreme weather, ranging from droughts that lasted for months on end, to flooding which wiped out whole villages.

“The cost of food has also risen sharply and there are severe bread shortages across the country. Where it can be found, a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe now costs up to nine times more than it did a year ago. Parents are struggling to feed their children and give anything they can get hold of straight to them.

“With the prolonged drought, dams have failed to fill, and wells and rivers are drying up, leaving communities with no option but to walk tens of kilometres to reach water.”

Donate to help CAFOD respond to emergencies including the food crisis in Zimbabwe

The Church in Zimbabwe has also recently called for ‘the desperate cries of Zimbabwean families’ to be heard.

How is CAFOD responding to the food crisis in Zimbabwe?

CAFOD has been working in Zimbabwe for almost fifty years. Over the last couple of weeks, working through our Church network, we have stepped up our efforts to reach people who are suffering in some of the most remote parts of the country.

“We are delivering grains and emergency food aid to help people on the brink of starvation, as well as helping them to access safe, clean water through new pipelines and wells” said Verity.

“We are also supporting communities to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change, so that they are better prepared as the environment around them on which they rely for their food becomes increasingly volatile.”

In March 2019, Cyclone Idai tore through Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi, displacing thousands of people. Your amazing generosity is helping us reach people in need of emergency aid, and to rebuild their lives.

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