|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
JOHANNESBURG – The United Nations says it will send one of its top officials to Zimbabwe after Harare rejected UN proposals to raise US$30 million for victims of a controversial government clean-up exercise.
UN spokesperson Marie Okabe says the world body will dispatch one of its officers to thrash out differences with Harare on the modalities of the relief operation for the clean-up victims after President Robert Mugabe met UN chief Kofi Annan last week.
Three months ago, Mugabe's government demolished thousands of houses and backyard shacks in a controversial clean-up campaign that left at least 700 000 people homeless, according to a report compiled by UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka.
Another 2.4 million people were also directly affected by the exercise which the UN and all the major Western governments criticised as an assault on the rights of the poor.
KOFI Annan . . . to send top official to Harare
But Mugabe has defended the exercise as necessary to restore the beauty of cities and towns and smash the illegal foreign currency market blamed for Zimbabwe's economic woes.
The Zimbabwean government rejected a UN proposal to raise US$30 million from international donors for shelter and food to the displaced communities.
Harare has in the past also rejected humanitarian aid for clean-up victims from South African churches accusing the religious groups of harbouring a hidden agenda. Mugabe earlier this week criticised the United States for focusing on the Zimbabwe housing demolitions while neglecting its own victims of Hurricane Katrina in the US Gulf Coast.
|Zimbabwe remains worst affected by HIV/AIDS in world: minister|
|www.chinaview.cn 2005-09-21 03:10:55|
HARARE, Sept. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe remains one of the countries in the world worst affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic with a prevalence rate of 21.3 percent and women constituting 60 percent of those affected, a government minister said on Tuesday.
Health and Child Welfare Minister, David Parirenyatwa, said this at the official launch of the "Man Enough to Care" document by Africare, a nongovernmental organization.
In a speech read on his behalf by Disease Control and Prevention deputy director, Stanley Midzi, the minister said educational campaigns and discussions had significantly increased the level of AIDS awareness.
This, however, was yet to translate into a significant reduction in risky behavior and ultimately that of infection, he said.
"I need not over-emphasize that Zimbabwe is experiencing high levels of HIV prevalence rates although there has been a reductionof prevalence from 24.6 percent to 21.3 percent," Parirenyatwa said.
He called for intensified efforts to address silence, denial, social norms and economic forces.
In that regard, the minister said, the comprehensive investmentof resources was welcome to combat the scourge.
Parirenyatwa said the launch of the "Man Enough to Care" document would increase male involvement in gender based programs,thereby complimenting women's societal roles.
Despite the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS problem, men, due to traditional social norms, have played a lesser role in the care ofthe chronically ill.
With support from the corporate world and donors, the minister said prevention, care and support would effectively reduce the scourge's impact.
Africare with support from Development Corporation of Ireland, John Snow International Research and Training as well as International Fund for Agricultural Development has already taken the lead by exploring ways of involving over 400 men.
These people have been assisting about 3,000 people living withHIV/AIDS in Harare, Makoni, Zvishavane and Shurugwi since 2002.
Through Male Empowerment Group Projects by Africare, men receive Voluntary Care Giver Training to enable them to help the affected people. Enditem
20 September 2005
U.S. government plans to ship 73,500 metric tons of food to Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries are well advanced and distribution in the region is likely to begin next month, an American spokesperson told the Voice of America.
Spokeswoman Carla Benini of the U.S. mission to the United Nations food agencies in Rome – the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization – said no date has been set to launch distribution to begin, but it could begin in October.
The World Food Program says 10 million people in the region need food aid – 4 million in Zimbabwe, 4 million in Malawi, 1 million in Zambia, 500,000 in Lesotho, 400,000 in Mozambique, and 200,000 in Swaziland. Zimbabwe has been a focus for attention, in part because the Harare government is at odds with United Nations humanitarian aid officials over whether or not current food shortages mean widespread hunger.
The United States has been the main contributor to food relief efforts for the region. It contributed $51.8 million to direct 73,500 tonnes of food into the region.
WFP spokesman Mike Huggins in Johannesburg said he was not informed of the U.S. schedule, and was waiting for supplies to arrive before initiating distribution logistics.
The Zimbabwean government has said it wants to distribute food through its official channels, but Mr. Huggins said the WFP and its local partners will handle this.
Reporter Patience Rusere for VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Ms. Bernini.