Zimbabwe

Red Cross launches appeal to assist those made homeless by Zimbabwe clearance operation

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched an appeal for 2.48 million Swiss francs (€ 1.59 million, US$ 1.91 million) to assist the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) as it gives humanitarian assistance to thousands of people made homeless by the government's clean-up operation, which has displaced an estimated 375,000 people.

Eighteen of the 27 urban and peri-urban areas in which the ZRCS operates HIV/AIDS projects have been affected by the government's clearance operation.

"This operation has had a big impact on the livelihoods of thousands of people, with a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable: the elderly, the chronically ill, people living with HIV and AIDS, orphans and other vulnerable children, especially child-headed families. We will continue fulfilling our mandate to help the most vulnerable members of our society, with our clients remaining a priority for intervention," said ZRCS President Edmore Shamu.

The International Federation appeal will help the ZRCS to meet the basic needs of 15,000 of the most vulnerable people, through the distribution of relief items, such as family tents, plastic sheeting, kitchen equipment, blankets, jerry cans, soap, materials to build latrines, health education materials, mosquito nets, chlorine tablets for water purification, condoms and agricultural starter-packs.

The ZRCS, which is launching a new campaign for orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS next month, will also provide 120 two-roomed permanent houses for child-headed households as part of the operation.

For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

In Harare: Varaidzo Dongozi, Zimbabwe Red Cross Tel: +263 91 367 194
In Geneva: Roy Probert, Media Officer, Geneva Tel. + 41 22 730 4296 / +41 79 217 33 86, Media Service Duty Phone Tel: + 41 79 416 3881