Failed harvest deepens Zimbabwe food crisis
Last Updated: Thursday, March 11, 2010 |
More than two million people in Zimbabwe, or close to one-fifth of the southern African country's population, are in need of food aid, the Red Cross said Thursday.
The International Red Cross renewed its call for support for the region in a statement, saying an estimated 2.17 million people are in need of food aid, a number it says will rise on the back of an expected failed 2010 harvest.
"In some parts of the country, the food situation is as bad as many of our volunteers and staff have ever seen it," said Emma Kundishora, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, in a statement.
The agency said some areas have seen drought while others have been inundated with too much rain, damaging staple crops like corn. The country, once the breadbasket of Africa, has also been facing shortages of fertilizer and seed.
Farmers' organizations in the region forecast local corn harvests this year of some 435,000 tonnes, with annual consumption at about 1.6 million tonnes.
Aid effort faces $25M shortfall
In December 2009 the Red Cross appealed for 38.4 million Swiss francs ($36.8 million Cdn) in funds to continue an emergency food operation begun in 2008 to support more than 200,000 particularly vulnerable people in the region.
The group said Thursday its plans to continue the relief effort through this October but faces a shortfall of 26 million Swiss francs ($24.9 million Cdn).
Critics of longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe have blamed the food shortages on measures he introduced in 2000, when thousands of white-owned farms were handed over to landless blacks, seizures Mugabe argued were necessary to resettle blacks kicked off their land during British colonization.
Critics said the policy left much of the best farmland unused, as resettled farmers did not have the proper equipment, supplies and seed to keep production at previous levels.
Mugabe has blamed his country's plight on sanctions placed against his government, though Western countries say those sanctions target only Mugabe and his top aides
I recall the vilification of white Rhodesians by Canadians in the late 70's. I saw and heard first hand how Canadians poured hate onto them.
I recall embargoes and political meddling by the Canadian government because they apparently knew what was best for Africans and how to achieve it. How imperialist was that attitude............
I recall the national joy as Canadian news media trumpeted and hailed Mugabe's coming to power. Bastard ignorant white folk etc , finally the country will be run the way the majority wants etc etc etc
So much meddling, acrimony and hate. AND NOW with the country in a state of total ruination where are all these pulpit-thumpers who forced this change at gun point, why does the world basically stand by and watch as self rule destroys freedom and democracy and health and the economy in a way that is unprecedented in modern times.
Colonial rule was not right but political correctness , at least in this case, has proven to be much more destructive to everyone except Mr. Mugabe and his chosen few.
A person with reasonable intelligence and insight knew successful, sustainable change couldn't happen so abruptly and completely. That didn't matter at the time ,at the time it was more important for US that WE impose OUR will in a land thousands of miles away, in a culture we knew nothing of.
NOW THAT'S COLONIAL IMPERIALISM.
Have been looking at some stats on Zimbabwe since Mugabe's rule, Inflation peaked in 2008 at 89.7 sextillion (10^21) percent. 1 US Dollars was worth 1.56 Zimbabwe Dollars in 1990. In 2006 Mugabe ordered 60 TRILLION dollars to be printed at its central, in order to pay for government wage increases. Exchange rate is now at 310 Billion Zimbabwe Dollars for $1 US.
Way to go Mugabe, don't worry your life is lookin' pretty good considering you purchased a penthouse in Hong Kong for $5.8 Million US.
The real reason is not Mugabe, but those who allowed Zimbabwean revolution, those who allowed ZANU and Mugabe to come to power. These are lefties around the world, who applied pressure on British governments of Wilson and Thatcher. This is also Lord Soames personally - a spineless coward who did not have courage to denounce Mugabe elections results because, although they were not fair, their denouncement, as he said, would provoke "violence". This slug was married to Churchill's daughter, by the way. Churchill probably turned in his grave.
Stop blaming Mugabe alone. Zimbabwe is a product of rejecting [by the West] of the common sense in favour of political correctness. Now we are all asked to pitch in to alleviate some pain from past mistakes without accepting that they WERE mistakes repeating them in South Africa.
Once it was a beautiful Rhodesia with flourishing agriculture and industry. Rhodesian government stated that eventually blacks and whites will rule together, but currently "black majority is not ready to rule". Weren't they right? It was very true, but it didn't fit egalitarian principles embraced by the West so tightly, that it was impossible to accept that this principle can not be universally applied. For its "racist" practices Rhodesia was shunned by UN, placed under economic sanctions and finally succumbed to economic pressures and military attacks of Mugabe's guerrillas backed by Soviet Union and communist China.
So the common sense was defeated and political correctness won. Educated and hard working Rhodesians both white AND black left the country. The industry was affected first, however in 2000 oppressions on the white farmers started and this last pillar of the economy also crashed. Rhodesia's infrastructure: water supplies and sewage treatment systems stopped functioning due to wear, tear and lack of repair. Hence, cholera.
The failures of "liberated" African countries proves that "equal representation" democracy does not work in Africa: Congo, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, Rwanda, Zimbabwe. South Africa is well on the track. But the West keeps sacrificing common sense in favour of political correctness. Until that is fixed, Africa will continue its plight and aid humanitarian aid will only give a temporary relief, without changing overall pattern.
"The country, once the breadbasket of Africa ..."
The country was called Rhodesia back then. It produced regular food surpluses and cheap food for everyone in the country despite sanctions and the ultimately successful effort of the west to put Mugabe in power.
The international community created this mess, so it's only fair that it should help to feed the people who are starving as a result of this well-intentioned bungling.
As long as Mugabe holds power there will be problems. No he does not control the weather but good farmers know what needs to be done. You drive them away and give the land to non-farmers and you get what you sow.
People have tried to vote Mugabe out of power and look what happens. A once profitable economy goes down the tubes with the help of all the western do-gooders who backed Mugabe against the "evil empire" of Ian Smith.
The western solution seems to be throw money at the problem. I wonder what Robert's bank account looks like in Switzerland. Whites built the country. Do-gooders in the west helped bring it down. The solution it would seem is to find a man the people can trust and who really cares about his country and his people then topple Mugabe. Bang!
Let them starve. They are stealing everything white people worked hard to create, and forcing them to leave the country. They got what they want, so let them live with the consequences. If they can't, then let them change it themselves. It is their problem, and any aid given them will be squandered just like the riches stolen from from the whites.