In eastern Zimbabwe’s parched Buhera district, Omega Kufakunesu’s family has been forced to scale down daily meals to just a portion of vegetables and sadza, a thick maize-meal porridge.In the morning only the children get the porridge, and everyone skips lunch. “During the day we have wild fruit collected by the children, and at night we have smaller portions of sadza with vegetables,” harvested from the communal village garden, said Kufakunesu, sitting outside her thatched round hut.A palmful of shumha, a drought-resistant wild fruit, is all she will eat during the day until dinner time. “We have reduced our food portions so that its enough for everyone,” she said.But there are days when “my husband and I don’t eat at all” to make sure the children have some food, she said. Zimbabwe is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, blamed on the effects of the El Nino weather cycle.In addition, the former regional breadbasket is in the throes of its worst economic crisis in a decade with inflation estimated to be over 900 percent.‘More hungry people than ever’Because of the combined effect of drought and an ailing economy, more than five million rural Zimbabweans, nearly a third of the population, are going to face food shortages before the next harvest in 2020.A disturbing feature of this year’s food shortages is the increase in the number urban poor who are vulnerable.The government estimates that up to 2.2 million people in towns and cities are struggling to feed themselves.WFP country representative Eddie Rowe said there are “more hungry people than ever before in Zimbabwe”. In August, the United Nations extended its appeal for aid — from $234 million in February to $331 million to feed the combined total of over seven million Zimbabweans, roughly half the country’s population.