UN launches $234 million appeal for Zim humanitarian aid

Harare- United Nations launched a US$234 million Flash appeal to assist nearly 2.2 million people until June 2019. 

Visiting United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock launched the appeal on Thursday night as part of international community response to rising humanitarian crisis affecting Southern Africa nation.

Zimbabwe is facing drought witnessed in the region due to poor rains and battling economic meltdown.

Lowcock said there is need to enable humanitarian agencies to provide time-critical and multi-sectoral assistance including food, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection within urban and rural areas.

“I have released USD $10 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to assist over 270,000 people in the 11 most-affected districts,” he said.

The Humanitarian Flash Appeal is underpinned on saving lives and livelihoods through integrated humanitarian assistance and protection to people impacted by the economic crisis and severe food insecurity, providing life-saving humanitarian health assistance by responding to outbreaks and procuring essential medicines as well as building resilience of the most vulnerable communities to mitigate against the impact of the deteriorating economic situation.

He, however noted Government efforts and interventions to humanitarian principles in relief distribution, ensuring right to adequate food, nutrition and health services for people.

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols revealed that United States has released additional USD$15 million to respond to increased humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe.

“We are proud to work with the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations, to deliver this assistance quickly and efficiently to the communities and people who need it most,” he said. 

European Union ambassador Timo Olkkonen said EU stands by the people of Zimbabwe and remains concerned about the worsening of the humanitarian situation.

“This appeal comes at the right time and we hope that all parties involved in the response will be able to help to find a rapid, well targeted and efficient outcome,” he said.

Bishow Parajuli UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe revealed that “The Flash Humanitarian Appeal targets hardest-hit districts, both in rural and urban, which were prioritised through severity ranking.

“This was done 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,” Parajuli added.

Procurement of essential medicine and medical supplies will cover 9.2 million vulnerable people in 80 districts currently facing limited access to healthcare.

Also affected are children in school who need food and nutrition supplements.

Misheck Sibanda chief secretary to President and cabinet said limited fiscal space has constrained Government’s intention to provide assistance to all households in need.

“I am thankful to the United Nations and its humanitarian partners for the timely multi-sectoral Flash Appeal to scale-up support to the vulnerable households complementing Government’s efforts,” he said.

Sibanda said there is need for holistic response to reduce vulnerabilities across the country.

The Zimbabwe Government will do so transparently and accountably,” added Sibanda.

Flash Appeal USD 234 million appeal breakdown

*Food security pegged at USD 130 million

*Agriculture will get USD 11.1 million

*Health USD 37.4 million;

* Early recovery USD 16.5 million,

* Water, sanitation and hygiene will get USD 12.7 million

*Education pegged at USD 9.7 million,

*Nutrition will get USD 8.7 million for nutrition;

*Child protection set for USD 4.5 million;

*Refugees USD 3.2 million