February 10, 2016 / 10:10 AM / 3 years ago

UNDP raises $60 mln for food aid in drought-hit Zimbabwe

A villager uses a wheelbarrow to collect a monthly food ration provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - The United Nations Development Programme has raised $60 million for food aid in Zimbabwe and is feeding 1 million people as the country faces its worst drought in a quarter century, the agency’s local head said on Wednesday.

The UNDP head of mission in Zimbabwe, Bishow Parajuli, said the UN plans to raise $130 million under an emergency fund.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday appealed for nearly $1.6 billion in aid to help pay for grain and other food after a drought in the southern African nation badly affected harvests and left 3 million people in need.

Farmers in Zimbabwe have lost cattle and crops to drought but fear the worst is yet to come.

Zimbabwe is struggling to emerge from a steep 1999-2008 recession that saw its economy shrink by more than 40 percent and the drought is expected to exacerbate its problems.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia

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