Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Zimbabwe villagers face starvation

The twin miseries of crop failure and economic collapse have left Zimbabwe's villages without food. Millions survive on nothing but wild fruit, and many have died.

"Children are dying out in the bush," one foreign doctor says, on condition of anonymity. "We are all guarded. We have to keep quiet or else we'll be kicked out" by the government.

The crisis has been exacerbated by President Robert Mugabe's decision in June to suspend humanitarian aid during the run-up to his one-man presidential runoff.

People search for scraps in garbage dumps, working shoulder-to-shoulder with baboons. Others dig for crickets to eat, and at least one woman cooked a meal of poisonous fruit for herself and her three children to spare them ongoing misery.