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US$116 mln raised for Zim food appeal


Harare (New Ziana)-The United Nations (UN) on Sunday said at least US$116 million had been raised for Zimbabwe under the international appeal for food aid launched last month.

Zimbabwe declared this year’s drought which devastated harvests a state of disaster, and launched a revised humanitarian appeal for US$331 million to help feed millions of food insecure households between July 2019 and April 2020.

The revised appeal, a joint effort between the government and the United Nations (UN) system, follows an earlier one announced in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai which ravaged parts of eastern Zimbabwe in the first quarter of the year, killing hundreds and destroying millions worth of infrastructure and housing.

Priority areas cited in the revised appeal include support for the agriculture sector and in particular grain importation, education, health, nutrition, psycho-social support, infrastructure, water and sanitation.

Outgoing UN resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli said there was need to raise more money after research showed that a further two million urban people were at risk of going hungry.

“It is encouraging to note that within 10 days of the launch of the appeal USD 116 million was pledged by governments of USA (USD 45 million), UK (USD 60 million), EU (USD 11 million) and the Chinese government pledged to drill/rehabilitate 500 boreholes,” he said.

According to the latest Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee report, about 5 million people in rural Zimbabwe require food aid.

While the bulk of the people are living in the rural areas, an estimated 2.2 million of the food insecure are in cities and towns.

Zimbabwe was among three Southern African countries hit by a devastating cyclone which worsened the food situation following a poor rain season in the 2018-19 farming period.

New Ziana

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