In Summary
  • The UN report said Zimbabwe was amongst the four highest food insecure African states.
  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been struggling to reverse an economic collapse.
  • An estimated 2.2 million people are food-insecure and lack access to minimum public services.

Harare

A United Nations expert has warned of a looming mass starvation in Zimbabwe as the effects of a severe drought and a collapsing economy take their toll.

A preliminary report by UN Special Rapporteur Hilal Elver on the right to food, said Zimbabwe was amongst the four highest food insecure African states, “alongside conflict ravaged countries.”

Ms Elver issued the report on Thursday as she concluded an 11-day fact finding mission to Zimbabwe.

MAN-MADE STARVATION

“The people of Zimbabwe are slowly getting to a point of suffering a man-made starvation,” she said.

“Political polarisation, economic and financial problems and erratic climatic conditions all contribute to the storm of food insecurity currently facing a country once seen as the breadbasket of Africa.”

The UN estimates that 7.7 million Zimbabweans or half of the population is food insecure after a drought during the 2018/2019 farming season.

FOREIGN CURRENCY

Zimbabwe, which is in a deep economic crisis, is also short of foreign currency to import the staple maize.

Ms Hilal said the crisis has been worsened by poor economic policies, sanctions imposed by Western countries and deep rooted corruption.

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