World & Community

UNICEF pleads with donors to inject US$85 mln to support drought hit Zim

By Staff Writer

THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has placed a US$84.9 million appeal urgently needed to support its El Nino related programs in drought ravaged Zimbabwe.

UNICEF says 866 000 children are at risk following the devastating impact of an almost dry dry farming season that has left over 1.3 million food insecure.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Africa’s southern region, hardest hit by an El Nino-induced drought.

Its situation has been worsened by an over two-decades-long economic crisis that has, informalised the country’s economy, devalued wages and eroded any chance of work opportunities.
In a statement released on Monday, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe Nicholas Alipui said the shortage of potable water was creating a unique crisis in the country already battling “diarrheal diseases” such as cholera and typhoid.

“We are particularly concerned about the vulnerability of children in this current emergency,” said Alipui.

“The funding will help mitigate child morbidity and mortality, prevent malnutrition and provide treatment, enhance water access, ensure continuous learning for children, and protect children against abuse and exploitation.

“It will also help strengthen the resilience of the household to deal with the crisis.”
Nearly 3.5 million people were estimated to be acutely food insecure by another UN agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

As a result of the drought, whose results are highlighted by severe temperatures in the country’s southern provinces and poor rainfall across, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared it a national disaster.

Mnangagwa appealed for US$2 billion worth of aid to avoid a disaster.

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