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Drought drives 7 million Zimbabweans onto food aid

Earlier this year, aid agencies said around 5.3 million people would need food aid between now and April, when the next harvest is due.

FILE: Distribution of food parcels in Zimbabwe after Hurricane Idai struck the area. AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Seven million people are now registered for food aid in Zimbabwe after drought destroyed crops across the country.

The figure is the highest in years and includes more than 2 million people living in urban areas.

This figure represents a big jump from previous estimates of those who require food aid.

Earlier this year, aid agencies said around 5.3 million people would need food aid between now and April when the next harvest is due.

Now it's emerged that seven million people, or half the country’s population, have registered for food assistance.

Nearly a third of those who have registered for emergency aid are families living in towns and cities.

Deputy social welfare minister Lovemore Matuke says the government and aid agencies have not yet reached all of those in need of help.

The drought, the worst in more than two decades, has also killed around 9,000 cattle in the two Matabeleland provinces.

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