U.N. says Zimbabwe drought relief funding deficit at $140 million

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2016 8:07 AM

HARARE (Reuters) - The United Nations on Thursday said its budget to assist people suffering from Zimbabwe's worst drought in a quarter of a century that left millions in need of food aid had fallen short by $140 million.

Some four million people require food aid this year after the severe drought, and the U.N. said the figure would rise to 5.2 million in the first quarter of next year.

"Of the $352 million being sought under the humanitarian response plan (April 2016-March 2017), nearly $212 million has been committed, with the current funding gap at $140 million," the U.N. said in a statement.

The El Nino-induced drought that hit southern Africa has been particularly bad for Zimbabwe, whose economy is in the grips of severe cash shortages, that has helped fuel anti-government protests in recent months.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia)