United Nations appeals for $86M in food aid for Zimbabwe

The United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for $86 million in food aid for Zimbabwe.

The country's debilitating economic downturn has made food supplies unstable. The government earlier this year began providing meat from wild animals to prisoners after they rioted over their meatless diet.

Bishow Parajuli, U.N. resident coordinator in Zimbabwe, said Monday that 1.5 million people in the southern African nation need food aid.

Paula Vazquez Horyaans, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, said that food insecurity there is aggravated by climate change's effects. The looming El Nino weather system is expected to make matters worse.

Zimbabwe's economy went into meltdown in 2000 after President Robert Mugabe ordered the seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial farms, leading to the collapse of the agriculture-based economy, once the region's breadbasket.