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Many Zimbabweans live below Food Poverty Line - WFP

May 19 2016 19:41
Malcom Sharara

Harare - The World Food Programme (WFP) says 22.5% of the Zimbabwean population lived below the Food Poverty Line in 2015.

According to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2015 progress report presented on Wednesday at a discussion titled "Achieving Zero Hunger", Zimbabwe failed to meet its MDG targets to halve extreme poverty and hunger between 1990 and 2015.

"Although the government has initiated important national policies and strategies, Zimbabwe did not achieve the first MDG between 1990 and 2015."

The report said the country had failed to achieve its targets because the MDGs were implemented during a period of economic recession, bringing with it a deterioration of agricultural infrastructure and basic services.

The WFP said the country has continued to witness persistent challenges in areas such as high economic and social inequalities, high unemployment levels, massive de-industrialisation and high poverty levels.

In a presentation, WFP Representative and Country Director Eddie Rowe, said high food insecurity and malnutrition exacerbated by recurrent droughts and severe climate change was also a contributing factor to the failure to meet the MDG targets.

"64% of farmland lies in dry regions which are unsuitable for rain-fed crops," said Rowe adding that the production of maize has declined by 79% in the last 10 years.

Rowe, however, said the policy environment in Zimbabwe is conducive for promotion food security and nutrition.

According to Rowe's presentation an estimated 62.6% of Zimbabweans live below the poverty line, with 16% in extreme poverty.

"1.5 million people, 16% of the population, face perennial food insecurity."

The WFP is targeting 2.8 million Zimbabweans in need of humanitarian assistance.

mdgs  |  zimbabwe  |  poverty  |  zimbabwe economy
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