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Zimbabwe restricts aid agencies, reports say

  • Story Highlights
  • Aid groups must provide details of humanitarian programs, funding
  • Directive comes less than a week after ban on agencies lifted
  • Flow of aid to Zimbabwe likely to be impeded even further
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HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Less than a week after lifting a ban on aid agencies, Zimbabwe's government has imposed harsh restrictions on humanitarian groups operating in the country, according to reports Tuesday in the government-controlled media.

According to The Herald newspaper, all aid agencies will have to submit to the government details of their humanitarian programs and funding, as well as their areas and modes of operation.

"Government has introduced new reporting mechanisms for private voluntary organizations and non-governmental organizations ... that will see them constantly indicating to the parent ministry their programs, areas and modes of operations," according to the state-controlled daily.

On Friday, Harare lifted a ban on aid agencies that had been imposed ahead of the June 27 presidential runoff. President Robert Mugabe's government accused some of the aid agencies of siding with the political opposition.

There was no immediate comment from the aid agencies operating in Zimbabwe about the reports. But the new restrictions are likely to further impede the flow of aid to Zimbabwe at a time that the country desperately needs it.

Aid agencies estimate that nearly a third of Zimbabwe's 13 million people could face acute starvation and malnutrition by the end of the year.

Once a prosperous and an exporting country of agricultural products, Zimbabwe now depends on food handouts.

The country's economic collapse is largely blamed on Mugabe's chaotic land reform program, which severely destroyed commercial agriculture since 2000.

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