Zimbabwe to launch humanitarian appeal

The Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation,Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga will represent government in the appeal that will be held in the capital Harare on Monday.

"Ms Catherine Bragg, in collaboration with the Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation, will launch the Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe for 2010. Ms Bragg will visit some humanitarian projects and meet with vulnerable people facing humanitarian challenges to gain a better understanding of their situation and assess the response by aid organizations," said the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"She will also meet high-level government officials and humanitarian actors to explore ways of improving the humanitarian response. Ms Bragg will also meet the donor community to discuss support for both humanitarian and recovery activities in 2010."

This year the country secured over US 700 million dollars from the UN and this year the country’s requirements are expected to be below US 500 million as the country’s economy has stabilized from years of collapse and major hospitals have been re-opened.

OCHA said over 1.9 million people will require food assistance in the 2009-2010 farming season at the height of hunger between January and March next year.

OCHA will use the funds obtained from the appeal to assist people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans, child headed families,access to safe water and sanitation facilities, assist the education sector and provide food for the undernourished children.

Zimbabwe humanitarian situation worsened last year when cholera killed over 4200 people due to unsafe water and poor sanitary facilities as well as the collapse of the health delivery system.

Hunger has been a problem in the country as newly resettled farmers are failing to produce enough food to feed the nation and has been blamed on President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reform programmes which expropriated productive white owned land to resettle landless blacks, but critics have said the land reform benefited
Mugabe’s cronies who lack farming knowledge.