THE World Food Programme (WFP) says Zimbabwe’s cash shortage complicates efforts to rush aid to millions of people facing severe hunger.

The United Natons agency’s country director Eddie Rowe on Thursday said challenges in accessing cash had delayed aid delivery to parts of the once-prosperous southern African nation.

The agency is increasing the number of Zimbabweans it helps to more than four million. More than seven million are in need, about half the population.

A UN expert on the right to food, Hilal Elver, was recently in the country to assess the food situation where she expressed concern over shockingly high hunger levels for a country not at war.

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WFP says it needs $293 million and 30% has been raised and that cash is needed now to make timely deliveries.

A drought and soaring inflation have worsened Zimbabwe’s most severe economic crisis in a decade.