Zimbabwe: Humanitarian agencies await Harare's permission to distribute food

By Patience Rusere, Washington

A top official with a leading Zimbabwean humanitarian aid organization said Thursday that he hopes to get permission from the Harare government next week to distribute food assistance to the thousands of people around the country who need it.

Christian Care Deputy Director Nyika Musiyazviriyo said obtaining authorization at all levels of government from Harare ministries to local rural district councils is critical, as the World Food Program only ships food when such permissions are in place.

For the moment, said Musiyazviriyo, Christian Care is getting ready to distribute food now that the traditional lean season is upon the country, but has not actually begun to do so, contrary to some reports in the Zimbabwean press this week. It is estimated that some 1.4 million Zimbabweans or more will need food assistance this year.

Reporter Patience Rusere asked Musiyazviriyo more about current operations.