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Zimbabwe faces increased malnutrition amid severe drought

James Tshuma, a farmer in Mangwe district in southwestern Zimbabwe, stands in the middle of his dried up crop field amid a drought, in Zimbabwe, Friday, March, 22, 2024.   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP


In 2024, Zimbabwe allocated a budget of $7.6 million to support 7,300 persons with disabilities. Due to the disaster situation, the number of vulnerable individuals seeking social protection assistance is expected to rise, necessitating an additional $1.5 million for rights-based services.

In May, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a state of disaster, citing the need for $2 billion to address the drought crisis. Zimbabwe, along with Malawi and Zambia, is severely affected by malnutrition caused by drought. The dried-up Kapotesa dam in Mudzi district exemplifies the dire conditions.

The drought has forced villagers to walk long distances for odd jobs, earning meager amounts to buy food. Most families in Mudzi have reduced their meals to two a day. Malnutrition cases have surged by 20% in the past three months, prompting local health experts to create a nutritional porridge called maworesa from locally sourced ingredients to combat the crisis.

The UN reported that 7.6 million Zimbabweans, nearly half the population, require aid. In early June, the UN launched a $429 million drought appeal for Zimbabwe, but funding has been slow to materialize.

UNICEF Zimbabwe's Yves Willemot emphasized the severe impact on children and pregnant women, highlighting the urgent need for international support to address the worsening situation.

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