A severe drought has hit Zimbabwe, leading President Robert Mugabe to declare a state of disaster in most rural parts of the country.
It puts Zimbabwe and the southern African region into a focus where donors and the international community would recognise that, yes, we have a major problem in our hands.
The government says 26 percent of the population is in need of food aid.
It represents the worst drought in Zimbabwe in a quarter of a century.
The declaration of a state of disaster allows international donors to rapidly raise money to assist the country.
Eddie Row, Country Director of the World Food Programme Country Director
“By declaring this drought an emergency and providing clear evidence of the extent to which this is going to impact on the lives of people it puts Zimbabwe and the southern African region into a focus where donors and the international community would recognise that, yes, we have a major problem in our hands.”
Zimbabwe is said to have received below seventy-five percent of normal rains, while dam levels are at an average capacity of 51 percent.
Southern Africa is parched, with poor rains hitting crops. The drought in Zimbabwe is only expected to add to economic problems caused by a steep nine-year recession, which ended in 2008.