HARARE, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday made an urgent appeal for 130 million U.S. dollars to feed Zimbabweans facing acute hunger amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"With Zimbabwe's already severe climate- and recession-induced hunger crisis deepening and COVID-19 taking hold, the United Nations World Food Programme urgently needs 130 million U.S. dollars to sustain through August an emergency operation to prevent millions of the country's most vulnerable people plunging deeper into hunger," the WFP said.
It added that since January this year, the UN agency has been failing to feed 4.1 million people in both urban and rural areas who it had aimed to feed every month, due to insufficient funding.
"WFP is planning to assist 4.1 million people in April, although insufficient funding has prevented it achieving the same monthly target since the turn of the year. In March, it reached 3.7 million of the most vulnerable Zimbabweans," it said.
The total number of food insecure people in Zimbabwe stands at 7.7 million, more than half of the country's population, according to the agency.
The 130 million dollars being urgently sought by the WFP is part of a total food assistance requirement of 472 million dollars through December 2020.
Climate-induced shocks including droughts and floods, as well as harsh economic conditions, have resulted in worsening hunger in Zimbabwe.