UN says Zimbabwe’s cash shortage hurts aid delivery efforts

HARARE, ZIMBABWE (AP) — The World Food Programme (WFP) said Zimbabwe’s cash shortage complicates efforts to rush aid to millions of people facing severe hunger.

The Unite Nations (UN) agency’s country director Eddie Rowe said on Thursday that challenges in accessing cash have delayed aid delivery to parts of the once-prosperous southern African nation.

The agency is increasing the number of Zimbabweans it helps to over four million.

More than seven million are in need, about half the population. A UN expert on the right to food has said Zimbabwe has shockingly high hunger levels for a country not at war.

WFP said it needs USD293 million and 30 per cent has been raised and that cash is needed now to make timely deliveries.

A drought and soaring inflation have worsened Zimbabwe’s most severe economic crisis in a decade.

Village women receive aid from the charity organisation, Oxfam International, at a distribution centre in Chirumhanzi about 250km South east of Harare. PHOTO: AP