October 11, 2010

1,3 million people will need food aid, says deputy minister

More than 1,3 million Zimbabweans will need food aid between January and March 2011, a senior Government official has said. Labour and Social Services Deputy Minister Mrs Tracy Mutinhiri said the May 2010 vulnerability assessment confirmed high levels of food insecurity. "Zimbabwe has registered high levels of chronic malnutrition in areas that are traditionally food secure. According to the February 2010 National Nutrition Survey, 36 percent of under-five children are chronically malnourished. This, therefore, calls for a holistic approach to national and household food security," she said.

Deputy Minister Mutinhiri called for a strengthening of State-NGO partnerships to improve agricultural productivity and food security. Catholic Relief Services country representative Mr Paul Townsend said humanitarian organisations would continue partnering Government to this end.

In a different context, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has emphasised that Churches should intensify efforts as well as take the lead in promoting national healing and tolerance among Zimbabweans for the country to succeed in its economic and social recovery path. Furthermore, he stressed the need for forgiveness and tolerance among Zimbabweans. Given the volatile past years it was critical that all national institutions work together to unite the people towards national goals, he said. "It is necessary that churches take the mantle in promoting forgiveness and national healing if the country is to realise its potential. "You cannot move ahead without forgiving. "It is that spirit of working together and forgiveness that is critical for national development and that is what Zimbabwe needs now," he said.

PM Tsvangirai, who is a member of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, said the country had lost a lot during the past few years and needed to summon all its energies towards development. (The Herald)

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