UN appeals for food aid for millions in Zim

HARARE - The United Nations yesterday appealed for $234 million in aid for Zimbabwe targeting 2,2 million people of the nearly 5,3 million Zimbabweans who need assistance until June 2019.

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan focused on Zimbabweans mostly in need of food, health care, shelter, water and sanitation, said Mark Lawcock, the UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.  

Of the $234 million appeal, $130 million is for food security; $1,1 million is for agriculture; $37,4 million is for health; $12,7 million for water, sanitation and hygiene; $4,5 million for child protection; $16.5 million for early recovery; $9.7 million for education; $8,7 million for nutrition; and $3,2 million for refugees.  


The appeal also includes the procurement of essential medicine and medical supplies to cover 9,2 million vulnerable people in 80 districts who currently have limited access to health care and to allow children to remain in school through provision of food and nutrition supplements.

Zimbabwe ranks as the worst-hit among six southern African countries that experienced severe food shortages in 2018-19 due to a combination of drought, floods and economic mismanagement.
Lawcock said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government had indicated Zimbabwe faced a maize deficit of  711 000 tonnes after harvesting about 900 000 to augment meagre opening stocks  held by the State’s Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

The appeal comes about a fortnight after the UN urged the government to request donor aid for some 5,5 million people seen needing emergency food in the current marketing season.
The humanitarian flash appeal presided over by Lowcock, was launched on Thursday in Harare in response to rising humanitarian needs in the country due to poor rains and a challenging economic situation.

Launching the appeal, Lowcock said “to enable humanitarian agencies to provide time-critical and multi-sectoral assistance — including food, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection — in both urban and rural areas, I have released US$10 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to assist over 270 000 people in the 11 most-affected districts.”

The humanitarian flash appeal aims to save lives and livelihoods by providing integrated humanitarian assistance and protection to people impacted by the economic crisis and severe food insecurity, provide life-saving humanitarian health assistance by responding to outbreaks and procuring essential medicines, build resilience of the most vulnerable communities to mitigate against the impact of the deteriorating economic situation.

Noting that the flash appeal complements the government’s ongoing and planned interventions and emphasising on the need to adhere to humanitarian principles in relief distribution, and to  ensure the right to adequate food and nutrition and health services of all people,  Bishow Parajuli UN resident coordinator in Zimbabwe said: “The flash appeal targets  hardest-hit districts, including rural and urban, which were prioritised through severity ranking based on multi-sectoral analysis of humanitarian needs in food; health; nutrition, water and sanitation; child protection as well as the human  rights of women and girls that are at risk of violence and abuse due to economic stress and food insecurity .”

The launch of the humanitarian flash appeal brought together senior representatives from government; diplomatic corps; development and humanitarian partners; civil society organisations; non-governmental organisations; private sector; and the media.

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