Over 2 million people in Zimbabwe to require food assistance warns UN

“Many districts, particularly in the south, harvested very little and people are already trying to stretch out their dwindling food stocks,” said WFP Country Director Sory Ouane. “WFP is working closely with the Government and partners to respond to the looming food crisis and will start food and cash distributions to the most vulnerable in October.”The predicted levels of hunger, released by the UN-supported Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, would be the highest since early 2009, when more than half the population required food support.To meet the increasing needs, WFP and its partners will provide cereals harvested in the region, as well as imported vegetable oil and pulses, the agency said in a news release. Cash transfers will also be used in selected areas to give people flexibility and help support local markets. Distributions will be gradually scaled up from October until harvest time in March next year.Some of the factors that have contributed to the high levels of food insecurity include adverse weather conditions, the unavailability and high cost of agricultural supplies such as seeds and fertilizers, and projected high cereal prices due to the poor maize harvest. In rural markets for example, grain prices are 15 per cent higher than during the same period last year.To help people deal with future droughts and other shocks, WFP has been implementing a Cash/Food for Assets programme in rural Zimbabwe since June. Under the programme, vulnerable communities receive food or cash while taking part in projects such as the construction of community irrigation systems and deep wells.The Government is also taking action to address this issue. For the first time, in 2012, it contributed some $10 million worth of grain towards a joint relief operation with WFP and its partners. The programme provided food assistance to some 1.4 million people in 37 rural districts. read more

UK weather Tropical blast to bring temperatures warmer than the Mediterranean

first_imgAberdeen, Wattisham in Suffolk and London are all tipped as likely locations for the highest temperatures, with the east of the country broadly enjoying the best of the warmth.The rise could make parts of the UK among the hottest locations in Europe, following bouts of snow and freezing temperatures that took hold on the continent earlier this month. 🚨 IT’S TURNING MILD 🚨 Feeling more like #Spring? 🌼 Well here’s why! We could see 17C in the south on Monday! pic.twitter.com/PRA6CDeq8e— Met Office (@metoffice) February 17, 2017 MeteoGroup forecaster Tom Whittaker said: “Generally speaking, it’s going to be close, but we may see temperatures of 15C (59F), which could be higher than places like Palma in Majorca, and parts of southern France.”It’s likely to be warmest in the east, south east and eastern parts of Scotland, to the east of the Highlands.”The hottest February on record remains that of 1998, when temperatures hit 19.7C (67.5F) in Greenwich, south east London. Despite bringing British temperatures above the average 4-7C (39.2F-44.6F) for this time of year, the expected rise will not be record-breaking by official measures. Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said: “In terms of temperatures there may be isolated locations where temperatures reach 16C to 17C (60F to 62F) but more broadly it will be mild, with some of the warmest areas being the east and north east of the country. Crocus bulbs in full bloom at Royal Victoria Park, Bath, as a blast of Caribbean hot air is set to push UK temperatures higherCredit:Ben Birchall/PA Temperatures in eastern Scotland could exceed those in parts of the Mediterranean next week as a blast of warm air hits the UK.The air mass is making its way over the Atlantic Ocean from Florida and parts of the Caribbean and is set to bring highs of up to 17C (62F) on Monday, the Met Office said. “Although obviously above average, it’s not necessarily unusual.”In February 2012, around 50 stations recorded temperatures of 17C (62F) and over and we’re not expecting that many to record the same next week.”MeteoGroup said temperatures may only reach highs of 15C (59F), although this is likely to be enough to push the UK above parts of southern Europe, including the Balearic Islands and Sardinia. Dawn in Ampleforth Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Crocus bulbs in full bloom at Royal Victoria Park, Bath, as a blast of Caribbean hot air is set to push UK temperatures higher Dawn in AmpleforthCredit:last_img read more