Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
The United Nations and other development partners have raised $200 million towards food aid and is still seeking at least $150 million more for all food insecure households countrywide, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli has said. Speaking after meeting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare yesterday on a routine engagement, Mr Parajuli said there was still a funding gap of about $150 million required to feed all the estimated four million people who were food insecure.
Mr Parajuli said 1,5 million people from different parts of the country have been assisted out of three million that required food during the first quarter of the season.
“We have $190 million out of a target of about $350 million so we still have a gap of about $150 million to mobilise and we are appealing to the donor community to join and support Zimbabwe at this time of severe drought that is affecting the whole region,” said Mr Parajuli.
Mr Parajuli said they were looking forward to increasing the number of beneficiaries. He said although there were a few concerns, food distribution programme was going on well. “The food distribution programme has been going on very well so far though there have been some concerns here and there, but I think Government is responding very quickly to those concerns and there has been a very strong directive from the highest level to provide food to all the people who need it,” he said.
Mr Parajuli said the UN and other development partners were also engaging with different Government officials to see how best effects of possible flooding could be addressed should they arise.
He also commended the Zimbabwe United Nations Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), which is a collaborative programme between development partners and Government of Zimbabwe saying they were on course in meeting their targets.
Zundaf is providing support to six key areas namely food and nutrition, gender equality, HIV and Aids, poverty reduction and value addition, public administration and governance, social services and protection.
Mr Parajuli said another area discussed with VP Mnangagwa was the scrapping of the death penalty. “The Vice President is a champion of the death penalty and we discussed that the UN was available to offer support so that Zimbabwe achieves what it wants,” he said.