Zimbabwe: Crucial programme at risk of closure unless further funding can be found

Mark Screeton (Desk Officer)
Since early 2003 Medair has been implementing a primary school feeding programme across 2 districts in Zimbabwe, Gokwe North and Mudzi providing a nutritious daily meal to 90,000 children.

Unfortunately, funding for this project came to end in June. While we were able to secure funding from ECHO to continue the programme in Mudzi, we have so far been unable to find the funding for Gokwe North. Yet the situation in the district remains critical. The most recent Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC June 2003) report predicts that the rural population requiring emergency food aid in the period July to September 2003 is expected to increase from 790,000 to 2.2 million. As always, it's the children who remain amongst the most vulnerable. In addition, Gokwe North continues to have some of the highest rates of malnutrition in the whole of Zimbabwe.

With the help of WFP who are providing the food, so far we have been able to keep the programme going throughout July, serving 55,000 school children, without confirmed funding. However, if we can't secure further funding soon we will be forced to abandon the project in Gokwe North.

Now more than ever, we cannot neglect these children, and with your help we can make a difference.