Rapid currency hyperinflation combined with multiple seasons of poor harvests have led to dangerous food shortages in Zimbabwe, a country where corrupt and inefficient land redistribution has almost wiped out commercial farming. The food crisis is “Alarming,” according to the World Food Programme’s Global Hunger Index, which ranks countries based on levels of child malnutrition and rates of child mortality. Aid agencies estimate “about five-million Zimbabweans – or one-half of the country’s population – require emergency food aid” because of shortfalls in maize production and “very high unemployment (estimated at over 80%).”
The effects of climate change have as much to do with the food crisis in Zimbabwe as any government policy. Mired in a longstanding drought, the problem is made worse by decreased production from poor farming practices and an increase in poverty, AIDS, and HIV. Protectionist policies of aid sending countries as well as rising transportation costs could prohibit and contract the amount of aid sent to Zimbabwe, further intensifying the misery of its most impoverished people.