Devastated by natural disaster, economic and political instability, repeated drought, inadequate harvests, high AIDS/HIV rates and staggering unemployment rates exceeding 50 percent in the last decade, 1.5 million Zimbabweans are expected to face starvation according to the World Food Program (WFP).
Confronted with a ruinous decline in the production of maize, a decline of 53 percent from 2014, 16 percent of Zimbabwe’s population is nearing “food insecure.”
“The situation in Zimbabwe is more extreme than most countries in the region, but it is not unique. Zimbabwe is particularly bad because it was hit very hard by the drought, which was severe this year,” WFP spokesman David Orr told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
At particular risk are children: It is estimated less than 25 percent of the young ranging from two to six years of age are deficient of the minimum daily nutritional standards and anemia is widespread.
Citing the lack of co-operation from the Mugabe government, the World Food Program estimates over 2 million Zimbabweans are at risk and expected to be tormented by food shortages.
Summoning a scarcity of funding for relief, Orr stated:
“We are looking at bringing food and cash assistance during the lean season, which begins earlier than usual this year. We’re not going to be able to reach all 1.5 million in need. Our aim is about half that number. We are nowhere near fully funded; in fact we are still desperately in need of funding.”
While his people are on the verge of starvation, the villainous Robert Mugabe continues to live an opulent life as president of Zimbabwe uninterrupted and without a ration of common humanity for the suffering.
President Mugabe’s rule over Zimbabwe has been marked by a consistent undermining of the rule of law and a decrease in public confidence in both office holders and government. Despite refusing to hold a reverence for his people and avoiding compassion for the suffering, Mugabe, sadly, will remain in power and ultimately honored for his disgraceful conduct.
While Mugabe exercises untrammeled power, he carefully ignores the pleas of the destitute because the potential to do good never rises above his desire for amassing a fortune or accumulating power.
Mugabe’s deliberate neglect now necessitates a large-scale humanitarian food-relief operation, an operation which may very well rest beyond the influence of the most thoughtful and compassionate organizations on the planet.
While Mr. Mugabe mechanically goes through the motions and ignores the calamity, he is perfectly willing to allow outside organizations worry about the fate of Zimbabweans.
[Reuters] [Photo courtesy New York Times]