Bad news from Zimbabwe


August 2nd, 2012

A new report published today suggests that up to 1.6 million people in Zimbabwe will require food aid next year. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/aug/01/zimbabwe-food-shortages-aid

This is an appalling position to be in. Zimbabwe used to be Southern Africa’s breadbasket – producing and exporting food but a combination of poor rainfalls and political turmoil have reduced their output dramatically. The problems are exacerbated by a lack of skills, inputs and knowledge by farmers, all of which reduces productivity.

The response form the international development world to Zimbabwe’s downfall has been slightly mixed. The big agencies like USAID, World Bank and others, who I met recently in Harare, want to see an emphasis on support to commercial farmers. They think that, if they can get the export market up and running, some of the income will trickle down to the 1.6 million – who have very few resources.

Practical Action believes strongly in working with those in immediate need – who may own only one cow or a goat. Helping them to make twell in Gwandahe most of their meagre resources, gives them a safety net and an ability to take their own choices. This is what we mean by a hand up and not a hand out. Our podcasting work, for example, helps people to tackle disease and get the best form their livestock. We are also working to get people access to clean water and better sanitation.

On reading the new report my thoughts are with the women I recently met. I wonder what their fate will be, come January and February next year when the problems are due to be at their worst.

2 responses to “Bad news from Zimbabwe”

  1. joseph amato Says:

    When last February and March I was in Harare explaining to our donour (EU) that in Mat North (Hwange)the situation for the current year would have been tragic,they told me that my report were not in line with the others coming from the rest of Zim.I was too pessimistic in their opinion…And now they want to boost the market farming….. they have no idea of what is going on…moreover USAID will sponsor projects for areas in Zim except Matabeleland North…becouse the hard conditions don’t allow to achieve results, so they think is useless to invest here.Mah…!!

  2. schrijnwerker gezocht Says:

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