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InternationalZimbabwe Declares National Disaster As Drought Rages On After Two Consecutive Failed...

Zimbabwe Declares National Disaster As Drought Rages On After Two Consecutive Failed Harvests


Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a state of disaster as the drought crisis caused due to the El Niño phenomenon intensifies in the southern African nation. In his address to the nation, Mnangagwa said that over five million Zimbabweans, representing a third of the country's population, are now in urgent need of food aid and other humanitarian assistance over the next six months.

The ongoing drought, which has led to two consecutive failed harvest seasons, has left large parts of rural Zimbabwe struggling to find food. With over 80% of the populace dependent on subsistence farming, the crop failure has drastically impacted food security across the landlocked country. Mnangagwa noted that harvests were down nearly 50-60% compared to last year in most districts, exacerbating the hardships faced by vulnerable communities.

Mnangagwa's decision to declare a national disaster is aimed at ramping up emergency response and unlocking aid coordination. Neighboring countries like Zambia and Malawi which have also seen catastrophic crop damage due to drought have announced similar measures in recent months. The United Nations agencies have stepped up efforts to provide life-saving rations across the drought-stricken region, but massive funding shortfalls continue to hamper the humanitarian response.

The Zimbabwe government has further stated it requires over $330 million in external funding over the next six months to adequately address the deepening food crisis. International organizations like World Food Programme have commenced scaling up food distribution but warn that the situation could rapidly deteriorate without a comprehensive response. The outbreak of diseases linked to malnutrition also looms large as a growing public concern.

With its economy continuing to battle hyperinflation and foreign currency shortages after years of isolation, Zimbabwe's capacity to deal with the crisis unaided is limited. Mnangagwa has made yet another passionate appeal to global actors and philanthropic groups to urgently come forward with financial support, aid material and other interventions to stave off a major famine across the drought-hit swaths of the country. The hardships of millions of vulnerable citizens depend on an empathetic response to address this looming humanitarian catastrophe.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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