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Thousands need food aid in Manicaland  

As hunger fears continues to loam, close to 86 000 households in Manicaland are reportedly in dire need of food aid.This emerged during a media tour of the food projects in the eastern highlands of Manicaland province .

Like in most parts of the country, Drought which is  linked to climate change  rendered Manicaland’s western low-lying areas.

Addressing members of the media, Manicaland Provincial Administrator (PA), Fungai Mbetsa said that the number of people who are vulnerable and food insecure hovers above 80 000.

“85 900 households in the Manicaland Province are relying on the relief programmes from USAID,” said Mbetsa.

He added that the Province’s seven districts have been heavily affected by the drought with Buhera being the hardest hit.

“All seven districts in Manicaland province are seriously affected, and Buhera is the hardest hit with 38 000 out of the 85 900 households in need of aid” he said.

Mbetsa added that Chipinge follows with 13 000 affected households, while Mutare also has  7 000 households affected by the drought. Mutasa district was singled as the district with less number of people in need of aid.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Director for Office of Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience, Jason Tylor said  the his organisation is targeting thousands of people affected by the drought in the country.

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“The USAID is targeting 215 000 people who are affected by drought by the year 2018,” he said.

He added that the number of people in need of food aid is expected to rise in 2017 from the current 2, 8 million.

He also said the US is targeting children and women so as to promote health in the country.

Meanwhile, United Nations has pledged support for drought relief programmes running from April this year until March 2017.

Speaking during a joint UN-USAID Media brief on Drought Response in the capital, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDO resident Representative Bishow Parajuli said the UN is committed to support drought stricken areas in the country.

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Journalist based in Harare

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