A government-owned Zimbabwe newspaper is claiming global warming caused $1.5 billion a year in damage by spurring droughts, and rich countries aren’t giving Africa enough money to face these kinds of events.
“In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger, says Government, particularly in rural settlements,” according to a Monday report by The Herald. “Feeding them will cost $1,5 [sic] billion or 11 percent of all the goods and services produced in Zimbabwe in a year – also known as the Gross Domestic Product…Africa and the rest of the developing world continue to feed on the crumbs of a rigid UN financial system that has failed to deliver on the promise of $30 billion support in fast-start finance for mitigation and adaptation.”
Critics are already claiming that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe simply wants to cash in on another source of foreign aid, as both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have suspended aid to Zimbabwe due to corruption concerns.
“President for life Robert Mugabe wants the UN (meaning America) to provide $1.5 billion per year, to feed Zimbabwean people who are currently going hungry, thanks to his government’s decade long policy of looting and trashing productive farms,” Eric Worrall, a columnist at the climate science blog Watts Up With That, wrote on Sunday. “Naturally he blames his country’s problems on ‘climate change.'”
Zimbabwe used to export food to most of southern Africa. However, Mugabe seized the farms of white farmers and distributed them to his political supporters in 2000, effectively destroying the country’s agriculture. Zimbabwe has repeatedly faced serious famines due to high tariffs, corruption and government policy.
Corn production drastically dropped from 2.148 million tons to 500,000 tons in 2002, bulking up to just 800,000 tons in 2013. Wheat production fell from 255,000 tons to 150,000 tons over the same time period. As a result, the country has had to import grain to prevent famine several times. In 2014, Zimbabwe had to import corn to prevent 2.2 million people from starving to death.
Mugabe’s agricultural policies were so disastrous that 15 years after he redistributed farms, he reversed position and invited back the white farmers he chased away due to the “strategic economic importance” of farming.
“Any money which falls into Mugabe’s hands is unlikely to be spent on food, or if it is, he will be very selective about who receives the food,” Worrall continued. “His repellent sham democracy has a long track record of political violence, including the murder of 20,000 political opponents in 1983.”
Zimbabwe is generally regarded as one of the most corrupt nations on the planet. Transparency International ranks the country as 150 out of 168 on the Perception of Corruption index. The United States labelled Zimbabwe as on of the world’s “outposts of tyranny” in 2005.
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