U.N. prepares to feed 3M Zimbabweans

June 2, 2005 at 6:20 PM

UNITED NATIONS, June 2 (UPI) -- The U.N. food relief agency says it is preparing to feed 3 million people in drought-stricken Zimbabwe.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday World Food Program Executive Director James Morris reported Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is welcoming the food aid from the United Nations.

Morris met Wednesday with Mugabe, government ministers, the U.N. country team, non-governmental organizations and donors in Harare.

With the help of the country team, World Food Program was preparing to obtain and distribute 200,000 to 300,000 tons of maize in the southern African country, the spokesman said.

It was only in late April the government, in announcing it was importing 1.2 million tons of maize following drought in February and March, denied the nation was running out of food.

Some observers have said a land reform program in which thousands of white farmers have been forced out over the past five years was to blame.

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