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Zimbos mark Uhuru in the midst of hardships

By Agencies

ZIMBABWE celebrates its 44th Independence Thursday, April 18th amid hunger stalking the generality of the populace due to the El Nino-induced drought.

Also, the newly introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency has triggered anxiety and uncertainty in the market.

The El Nino weather phenomenon affected Southern Africa hitting Zimbabwe hard with little or no rain received in most parts of the country during the 2023-2024 season.

Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the drought a national disaster and appealed for humanitarian aid worth US$2 billion to feed 2.7 million people, who are in dire need of food aid. Zambia and Malawi have also made similar declarations.
Prices of some basic commodities such as maize and sugar have already gone up, amid arbitrage behaviour by some unscrupulous retailers.

Zimbabwe is expecting a harvest of 868,000 metric tons of grain this year which is far short of expectations and leaves a deficit of 680,000 metric tons.

“Preliminary assessment shows that Zimbabwe requires more than US$2 billion toward various interventions we envisage in the spectrum of our national response,” Mnangagwa told reporters as he declared the national disaster.

Early this year, the United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) said it was working with Zimbabwe’s government and aid agencies to provide food to 2.7 million rural people in the country.
Prices of some basic commodities such as maize and sugar have already gone up, amid arbitrage behaviour by some unscrupulous retailers.

Zimbabwe is expecting a harvest of 868,000 metric tons of grain this year which is far short of expectations and leaves a deficit of 680,000 metric tons.

“Preliminary assessment shows that Zimbabwe requires more than US$2 billion toward various interventions we envisage in the spectrum of our national response,” Mnangagwa told reporters as he declared the national disaster.

Early this year, the United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) said it was working with Zimbabwe’s government and aid agencies to provide food to 2.7 million rural people in the country.
It revealed around 20% of Zimbabwe’s population was at risk of hunger having been caused by poor harvests in drought-ravaged areas.

Effects of climate change are being felt the world over and Zimbabwe is no exception, but other factors are worsening the situation.

These include poor governance coupled with uncontrolled corruption by authorities and a currency crisis characterised by inflation and exchange rate distortions.

Early this month, the newly appointed Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mushayavanhu gave a chilling revelation on how the drought would affect the economy.

“The EL-Nino-induced drought, which has turned out to be more severe than initially anticipated, is expected to impact negatively on the domestic economy’s growth trajectory.

“lt will also be affected by a slowdown in commodity prices, and subdued aggregate demand,” Mushayavanhu said in his Monetary Policy Statement as he introduced the gold-backed currency ZiG, recently.

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