Zimbabwe’s President declared a state of disaster in rural parts of the country

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Who: State of disaster
Where: In rural parts of the country
What: Declared by Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe
When: 5 February 2016

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe on 5 February 2016 declared a state of disaster in rural parts of the country hit by a drought.

The announcement comes days after the European Union urged Mugabe to declare a state of disaster. This declaration of disaster will allow international donors to raise money quickly to provide food aid to the nation.

An estimated 2.4 million people are now in need of food aid, more than a quarter of the population. The government also urged Zimbabweans not to panic, as it is importing maize from neighbouring Zambia.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in January 2016 said some 14 million people face hunger in southern Africa because of a drought that has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon. South Africa, Namibia and Botswana have also been badly hit.

It seems that the worst drought in a quarter of the century is expected to increase the problems of the southern African nation, which is struggling to overcome a steep 1999-2008 recession that saw its economy contract by nearly 50 percent.