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Drought-stricken Zimbabwe needs US$1.5b to prevent mass starvation

Published:Wednesday | February 10, 2016 | 2:43 AM
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters at party headquarters in Harare on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe has appealed to local businesses and charities for more than US$1.5 billion in aid to save more than a quarter of the population from starvation due to drought.

At a news conference in the capital Harare yesterday, Zimbabwe's vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa said more than three million people were in need of food and water.

Mnangagwa's appeal came barely a week after President Robert Mugabe declared a "state of disaster" in many rural areas hit by severe drought.

Zimbabwe has been affected by a regional drought worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon that has also affected other Southern Africa countries, including South Africa, Malawi and Zambia.

Mnangagwa said the southern parts of the country are the worst affected with tens of thousands of cattle dying, boreholes drying-up and dam levels decreasing due to the poor rains.