Additional funding urgently needed for Zimbabwe

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 02 Apr 2004
(Harare/Geneva/New York, 2 April 2004): The United Nations in Zimbabwe is urgently seeking additional funds to meet massive humanitarian needs, especially for health care, safe water, sanitation, education, and recovery at household and community levels.
"The generosity of the international community in response to the first six months of the Appeal has already contributed to mitigating the humanitarian consequences of this crisis," said Victor Angelo, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe. "But a lot more must be done to prevent the further erosion of basic services," he continued.

The United Nations in Zimbabwe has therefore revised the 2003/2004 Consolidated Appeal, initially launched in July 2003. This extended appeal covers activities to the end of 2004. Funding requirements total US$95.4 million, including US$31.1 million requested by local and international NGOs. The revision has been done in consultation with the Government of Zimbabwe, as well as other humanitarian stakeholders.

The socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe has seriously deteriorated during the past five years and continues to decline. Inflation has shot from approximately 100% in 2000 to 600% at the beginning of this year. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased by 13% in 2003. The latest assessment of the urban population indicates that almost 2.5 million are vulnerable due to food insecurity and lack of access to basic services.

At the same time, an estimated 25% of Zimbabwe's sexually active population is HIV positive and some 2,600 adults and 690 children die weekly because of related sicknesses. Nearly 800,000 of the country's children have been orphaned due to AIDS and for many of these and other children, education must often take a back seat to securing food or other survival priorities. Cholera outbreaks are also now occurring in areas previously out affected, as access to clean water and sanitation deteriorates. The result is increasing demands on health and social services colliding with dramatically reduced human resource capacity to address these needs.

This appeal aims to help reverse these trends. Funding is required to prevent loss of life, decrease human suffering and mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable groups, through nutrition, critical health, water and sanitation, education interventions and protection initiatives. The appeal also seeks to strengthen household livelihoods, improve food security, develop minimum standards in essential services, address the impact of HIV/AIDS to support recovery efforts, and bolster coordination.

For further information, please call:

Stephanie Bunker, OCHA NY, 917 367 5126, mobile 917 892 1679; Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA Geneva, 41 22 917 2653, mobile 41(0) 79 473 4570

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.