JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Some rural Zimbabweans facing one of the hungriest years they could remember have been forced to live on a meal a day and in some cases only on wild fruits, the U.N. food aid agency said Thursday.
The World Food Program appealed for donations to help fight hunger in Zimbabwe, straining as an economic collapse, years of food scarcity, AIDS and poor weather have combined to put it in a category all its own in a region where most nations are poor.
"Zimbabwe is the only one that is facing a national crisis," agency spokesman Richard Lee said.
The economic collapse, with inflation of at least 231 million percent a year, has put seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment out of the reach of many Zimbabweans. AIDS has devastated the farming work force. Weather has been a factor, with either too much rain in some areas and too little in others.