About a third of Zimbabwe’s population is in dire need of food, water and sanitation, reports AFP. The United Nations (UN) and Zimbabwe’s government this week issued a request for about R3.3 billion to provide urgent support to about 5 million of its poorest residents.
This week, UN Humanitarian Affairs head Mark Lowcock visited Zimbabwe and said there were also “acute” shortages of medicine across the country, and that food insecurity is growing. About 7.5 million people will reportedly need food aid in the next year.
Why does this matter?
Our northern neighbours fate is intricately aligned with our own. We can expect an increase in refugees from the North, as more people flock to SA in search of work.
What’s going on?
According to AFP, Zimbabwe’s economy, already in tatters, entered a downturn in 2012 and hasn’t recovered. In January, inflation reportedly shot up from 42.09% to 57%, and the doubling of fuel prices resulted in protests which were brutally suppressed by the regime.