Zimbabwe declares national disaster over drought

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Josephine Ganye working in her wilting and stunted maize fields due to the unrelenting heat and poor rainfall in the drought prone Buhera on January 28, 2020.Image source, AFP

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a national disaster to tackle the prolonged drought crisis.

Mr Mnangagwa said on Wednesday the country needs $2bn (£1.6bn) to tackle hunger caused by low rainfall which has wiped out about half of the maize crop.

The grain shortage has pushed up food prices and an estimated 2.7 million people will face hunger.

Neighbouring Zambia and Malawi have also declared states of disasters due to drought recently.

The drought is a result of the El Nino global weather pattern and has triggered a humanitarian crisis in southern Africa.

Zimbabwe now joins the regional scramble to find enough maize on the international market.

Authorities say that the number of people needing food aid will be higher than the initial projection.

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