Red Cross appeals to international community not to forget Zimbabwe

Geneva, March 10, 2000 - Tens of thousands of people in Zimbabwe in a desperate situation are not receiving the support they need as the world focuses on events in Mozambique, says the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
"We are sympathetic to the situation in Mozambique and understand the international community's attention on the disaster there, but let's not forget the tens of thousands of people in Zimbabwe, in urgent need of help," says Jerry Talbot, regional head of the Federation in Harare.

The Red Cross appealed for 2 million Swiss francs to help 20,000 flood victims in Zimbabwe last week but only 5% of it has been met. That appeal is now being revised to reflect the growing scale of the disaster.

Money is needed urgently for food and for transport of relief.

Nearly 100,000 Zimbabweans have been affected by the floods that have struck southern Africa and 20,000 people are still homeless several weeks after the floods first hit. Manicaland and Matabeleland South are among the worst affected provinces with whole villages, roads and bridges washed away. Access to flooded areas was only just beginning to be possible but continuing heavy rainfall and rising river levels is hampering efforts.

Zimbabwean Red Cross volunteers have been distributing food and shelter to people in accessible areas but lack of vehicles and a severe fuel shortage in the country is slowing the relief effort.

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact:

Jerry Talbot, Head of Regional Delegation, Harare Mobile (263) 91 236 009

Media Service, Geneva Mobile : (41 79) 416 3881

The International Federation, the ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies together constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

=A9 1999 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies