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Food crisis: Zimbabwe says open to international help

21 January 2016, 19:04

Harare - Zimbabwe says it is ready to accept international help to curb food shortages in parts of the country affected by drought, according to a report on Thursday.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, European Union ambassador Philippe Van Damme met acting president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The report quoted unidentified sources as saying that Mnangagwa told Van Damme that Zimbabwe was mobilising resources to help relieve the food shortage, after local farmers only managed to produce 700 000 tons of maize in the last farming season.

Mnangagwa told Van Damme the EU was welcome to help. Van Damme told journalists after the meeting that Zimbabwe needed to quantify food shortages, to get the international community's attention.

"One of the issues that we discussed in that regard is that there is a lot of international competition for humanitarian aid, so it’s extremely important that the government move very swiftly and quantify as much as possible the extent of the challenges," Van Damme was quoted saying.

Watch the video below as Van Damme speaks.

Van Damme avoided saying how much aid the West would provide to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe reportedly needed at least 1.8 million tons of maize a year to feed people and animals.

According to reports at the beginning of the year, the southern parts of Zimbabwe were left with less than 8 weeks' supply of maize, forcing millers to urge government to grant import permission.

- News 24


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