Challenges ahead for Zimbabwe

As Zimbabwe's Government embarks on a new power-sharing deal, Father Frederick Chiromba, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, has emphasised the huge challenges that lie ahead.

After attending the signing of the deal on Monday, Fr Chiromba said that getting food and medicines to Zimbabweans were among the immediate challenges.

"There is a great need to provide basic food aid as people are coping with a bad harvest and of course, the country's dire economic situation," he said.

The power-sharing deal comes after a prolonged political and economic crisis which has seen sky-high inflation pricing food beyond people's means. High unemployment and poor harvests have worsened the situation.

Earlier this year, Zimbabwe temporarily suspended international aid activities, causing further suffering for millions of people.

"There are also no medicines in the hospitals, doctors do not even have aspirins to give out and there is the situation of the three million or so Zimbabweans living in neighbouring countries," said Fr Chiromba.

While Fr Chiromba said the people of Zimbabwe are relieved by the signing of the deal, he stressed that Zimbabweans traumatised by violence need healing and reconciliation.

"The Catholic Church has always played a pivotal role in prioritising the needs of the people and will continue to do so as we all hope and pray that people's lives will now change for the better," he said.

Caritas has worked in Zimbabwe since 1972. Caritas members directly feed over a million people in Zimbabwe, and their projects help over three million people. Caritas targets the most vulnerable people, women, children and the sick.

For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879752/+39 334 2344136 or hough@caritas.va