UN mobilises $76m for drought relief

Herald Correspondent
The United Nations has mobilised $76 million expected to feed one million people affected by drought in response to Government’s plea for assistance.

In a statement, the UN Resident Co-ordinator’s office communications specialist in Zimbabwe, Mr Sirak Gebrehiwot, said the money had been mobilised from its development partners to help alleviate the situation.

“The UN system is deeply concerned by the severe drought caused by El Niño across the country and in Southern Africa that is negatively impacting on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in rural Zimbabwe and the region.

“Informed by the 2015 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report, a UN response plan was prepared and to date, the UN agencies — with support from development partners and in co-operation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) — have reached more than one million affected people and generated $76 million in funding from partners, including USAID, DFID (UK), ECHO (EU) and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund,” he said.

Mr Gebrehiwot said following the Government’s declaration of a state of disaster on February 3, 2016 and the updated ZimVAC report of recent weeks, the UN and its humanitarian partners had further refined the joint humanitarian response plan in a bid to address agriculture, food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, and child protection.

Mr Gebrehiwot said the UN agencies were committed to working with the Government in providing for the needy.

“Guided by the updated joint humanitarian response plan, which will soon be finalised, the UN agencies are committed to continue to work with the Government and development partners to scale up relief activities to reach those who are food insecure.

“These are currently estimated 2,8 million people.

“In reaching the affected populations, co-ordination of humanitarian efforts undertaken by the Government and the international humanitarian community will be critical so as to optimise resources and avoid duplication and/or gaps.

“It would be important from the outset of the humanitarian relief efforts to mainstream the elements of early recovery and resilience building and to ensure linkages with ongoing development efforts in the drought-affected areas,” he said.

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  • Munhu Wese Kuna Amai

    The NGO’s must not only work with the government but must allow the government to direct the distribution of food. Food will never be allowed to be used as a weapon for illegal regime change.

    • Musafare

      The Zanu-PF Government has failed to ensure non-partisan distribution of food-aid to all deserving Zimbabweans. Numerous cases of abuse by Zanu-PF party apparatchiks who’ve self-appointed the right to control food allocation, and use as a weapon to maintain their illegitimate regime in power are well documented. Any measures taken to guarantee independent non-discriminatory food allocation is welcome by all free citizens.

    • Nelson

      government distributing the food/funds will not work as explained by Musafare