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Published: Tuesday January 14, 2014 MYT 7:40:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday January 14, 2014 MYT 7:41:04 PM

WFP forced to cut food aid to 1 million Zimbabweans

A Zimbabwean woman collects her monthly food allocation from Chitowa clinic in Buhera District about 405 km (251 miles) east of the capital Harare July 12, 2012. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

A Zimbabwean woman collects her monthly food allocation from Chitowa clinic in Buhera District about 405 km (251 miles) east of the capital Harare July 12, 2012. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - A million Zimbabweans benefiting from United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aid are facing hunger due to a lack of funding that has caused deep cuts in assistance, the organisation said on Tuesday.

In September, the WFP said 2.2 million people in the southern African country faced food shortages, the highest in four years, following a drought and poor harvest.

The WFP had hoped to increase the number of people under its relief operations to 1.8 million but said it was instead being forced to reduce the number of recipients due to a lack of cash.

"In fact, we've had to cut rations for one million of our beneficiaries in recent months and there are likely to be deeper cuts as from next month," it said in a statement.

The monthly ration is made up of cooking oil, beans and maize, the staple food.

The WFP said it needed $60 million (£36.5 million) to implement full relief operations in the next six months in the impoverished nation of 13 million.

The 2.2 million in need of food aid is the highest since early 2009, the end of a decade-long economic decline.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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