Zimbabwe is one of several southern African countries affected by the El Niño weather pattern. In 2016 it led to the worst drought in 35 years.
Poor rains, if not completely absent, led to failing harvests with an enormous food crisis hitting Zimbabwe in 2016. Most people living in rural parts of Zimbabwe struggled to have enough food. Families had to cut their meals from three to one a day to stretch their supplies which also had an impact for the schools. Children were either dropping out or got so hungry they couldn’t concentrate or fainted in class.
From what was once known as Africa's breadbasket, Zimbabwe has turned into one of Africa's basket cases as a consequence of the drought, combined with a poor economy, failed agricultural policies and the exodus of many highly educated Zimbaweans.
Caritas was running a feeding programme in several schools. With the help of volunteers they could offer a meal of corn soya blend porridge to the students.
The emergency work of Caritas was a crucial additional intervention next to its longer term development program that includes building dams, irrigation systems and education on drought resistant crops.
Pictures made on assignment for the international fundraising campaign ‘Hello Hunger’ from Caritas Internationalis.