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Zimbabwe Grapples With Rising Malnutrition Amid Devastating Drought




Zimbabwe is facing a severe malnutrition crisis, exacerbated by a prolonged drought that has left millions in need of aid.

The southern African nation has been hit hard by the disaster, with malnutrition cases surging by 20% in just three months.

The drought, declared a state of disaster by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in May, has affected over 7.6 million Zimbabweans, nearly half the population.

The UN has launched a $429 million drought appeal, but funding has been slow to materialize, leaving vulnerable populations at risk.

In Mangwe district, farmers like James Tshuma have seen their crops wither and die, leaving them without a steady income to support their families. “We used to have three meals a day, but now we’re lucky if we get two,” said a local resident. “The drought has made life very difficult for us.”

The situation is particularly dire for children and pregnant women, who are most susceptible to malnutrition. UNICEF Zimbabwe’s Yves Willemot emphasized the urgent need for international support to address the worsening situation. “We need help now to prevent a catastrophe,” he said.

To combat the crisis, local health experts have created a nutritional porridge called maworesa from locally sourced ingredients. However, more needs to be done to address the root causes of the crisis.

Zimbabwe’s government has allocated $7.6 million to support 7,300 persons with disabilities, but the number of vulnerable individuals seeking social protection assistance is expected to rise, necessitating an additional $1.5 million for rights-based services.

The drought has also affected neighboring countries, including Malawi and Zambia, which are also struggling to cope with the devastating impact of malnutrition.

See also  Expectations Amid Hardship: No Grains Yet, Our Warehouses Empty, States Lament

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