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UNICEF appeals for US$84 million to assist over one million people


Harare, (New Ziana) – The United Nations Children’s Fun (UNICEF) is urgently appealing for US$84.9 million to provide life-saving interventions to 1.34 million people, including 866,000 children, amidst a complex humanitarian crisis exacerbated by water and food shortages in the country, an official said on Monday.

In a statement, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe, Dr Nicholas Alipui, said challenges created by the El Nino-induced drought this year also comes hard on the heels of public health emergencies related to cholera and polio that affected the country, creating a complex, multi-dimensional humanitarian crisis.

“El Nino’s induced drought is creating numerous health issues affecting children, including disease outbreaks, infectious and respiratory illnesses, and increased levels of malnutrition.”

“Water scarcity is expected to contribute to the spread of diarrheal and other water-scarce diseases among children exacerbated by reduced immunity in children because of malnutrition,” he said.

The drought, UNICEF said, is increasing household’s poverty and vulnerability and the risk of school dropouts and violence, and abuse and exploitation of children.

Alipui said the UN agency was particularly concerned about the vulnerability of children around the country as a result of the challenges that have emerged.

Decreased access to clean water and a poor diet heightens the risk of malnutrition and diarrheal diseases among children and impacts their rights to education and protection.

“UNICEF’s appeal focuses primarily on ensuring – in collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe and partners – continued access of children and their caregivers to integrated health, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, education and child protection services,” he said.

Alipui implored the donor community to generously support UNICEF’s appeal, emphasizing the critical need to secure children’s rights to health, education, and protection during this crisis.

“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 household to deal with the crisis,” he said.

New Ziana

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