News24

UN appeals for more Zim aid

2010-08-03 20:02

Harare - The United Nations on Tuesday launched an appeal for $478m in aid to Zimbabwe, US$100m more than in 2009, saying the country was at crossroads.

"The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe still remains fragile due to the prevailing degradation of infrastructure in the basic sectors of health, water and sanitation, and food security," the UN said in its 2010 Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe, released in the capital, Harare.

"As a result, Zimbabwe remains at crossroads. After reviewing the outcomes of recent needs assessments... revised requirements thus amount to US$478m. This is an increase of about $100m over the original requirements."

The report said although the country has recorded an increased crop output, food insecurity still remains a problem.

"The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe requires a different approach than most crises," it said.

"Small emergencies continue to develop into major crises requiring relief assistance, due to the unaddressed structural degradation in the basic sectors.

"Key priorities for the remainder of 2010 will be improving food security levels, prevention of and rapid response to disease outbreaks, protection-related issues and responses to natural disasters."

The aid request, which covers operations by the UN as well as aid agencies, would help 1.3 million people.

According to aid agencies, at least 2.17 million Zimbabweans need food aid due to a poor harvest this year.

Once a breadbasket of the region, the southern African country has experienced a decade of acute food shortages brought on by drought and a crippling land reform programme carried out by President Robert Mugabe.