World Bulletin / News Desk
The number of people needing food aid in Zimbabwe will rise by 60 percent this year to 1.6 million, the World Food Programme said on Friday, citing an annual assessment carried out by the United Nations and the Zimbabwean government.
A poor farming season this year is blamed on erratic rainfall and limited access to seeds and fertilisers, which prompted Finance Minister Tendai Biti to cut the 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 percent from 9.4 percent.
Zimbabwe harvested 1.077 million tonnes of cereals in the 2011/12 season, down by one-third from the previous season and the lowest since 2009 when a unity government formed by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai helped revive a sinking economy.
Nearly one in five rural people in the southern African state will need food aid during the peak of next year's "hunger season", which runs from January to March when new crops are not ready for harvest, the WFP said in a statement.
"Our field staff are already reporting signs of distress in rural areas, including empty granaries and farmers selling off their livestock to make ends meet," said Felix Bamezon, the WFP country director.
In December the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said 1.45 million would needfood aid.
Biti said last week that agriculture production for the 2011/2012 season had fallen 5.8 percent, leaving a grain deficit of 445,000 tonnes, which would be partly met through imports by the private sector.
The WFP said it would import cereals from neighbouring countries to distribute in rural Zimbabwe but would also hand out cash in some areas to allow people to buy their own cereals.
First results say centrist Macron, far-right Le Pen go through to run-off in French vote
In an interview with Italian daily La Stampa, Sicily-based prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro made his most specific claims yet over NGO activities off Libya, which the EU border agency Frontex recently described as tantamount to providing a "taxi" service to Europe.
Israeli police arrest 18-year-old Palestinian suspected of attacking Israelis at Tel Aviv hotel
"The posters are printed by the candidates themselves and it is up to them to hand them in to the electoral commission before the deadline" of April 10, the ministry said.
It marked the first loss for the security body's Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine since Europe's only war began more than three years ago.
Camp Lemonnier, home to some 4,000 US soldiers and contractors, is vital to US military operations in Somalia against militant groups like Al-Shabaab, and also provides support for US operations in Yemen, where special forces regularly carry out drone strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Victims were caught in fight between ISIL and Iraqi forces
"Let's see if we can go eat them for breakfast," he says with an ominous chuckle.
Mass abstentions could mar one of the most unpredictable presidential elections in France's recent history
The Palestinian medical sources said dozens of residents from the hardline settlement of Yitzhar went to the neighbouring village of Urif and threw stones at residents who responded in kind.
After tense negotiations with security forces blocking their way, protesters in Caracas were allowed to march to their destination, the headquarters of the Catholic bishops' conference.
On Saturday, police arrested a man carrying a knife at Paris's Gare du Nord station, briefly causing panic as some passengers rushed out of the way.
The UN has accused the Nsapu rebellion of using child soldiers and committing several atrocities, while also denouncing the disproportionate use of force by the military.
Charles Taylor was elected Liberia's president from 1999 to 2003, when he also supported Revolutionary United Front rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
Rabat condemned its North African neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the refugees who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation".
Egypt has freed US charity worker who had been held for three years in pretrial detention on human trafficking charges widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups.