UN avails $190m for food relief

Source: UN avails $190m for food relief – Sunday News August 21, 2016

Lungile Tshuma Sunday News Correspondent
THE United Nations in Zimbabwe has availed $190 million in the last five months to address the effects of drought as latest figures show that the number of people in need of food aid has doubled from two million to 4,1 million. United Nations resident co-ordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Zimbabwe, Mr Bishow Parajuli said the world body has reached 1,5 million in need of food with the mobilised resources.

“In response to the Government’s appeal issued in February 2016, the United Nations, humanitarian partners and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) developed a Humanitarian Response Plan through collaborative and joined-up efforts. The focus of the plan is to save lives, while ensuring linkages to early recovery and resilience building programmes,” said Mr Parajuli.

“Of the $360 million requested for the period of April 2016 — March 2017, nearly $190 million has been committed enabling the UN and humanitarian partners to reach 1,5 million people with relief assistance.”

But because of the increase in the number of people seeking aid, Mr Parajuli said UN was revising its response plan to ensure more resources are mobilised to meet the growing number of people in need of food aid.

He said the new plan will be availed at the end of the month where UN will be looking forward to raise more money to cater for more people.

President Mugabe early this year declared the EI Nino induced drought “State of Disaster” and urged developmental partners to assist in raising $1,5 billion for drought relief. As part of UN’s humanitarian response plan, the resident co-ordinator said his organisation has worked with other developmental agencies to address food security and agriculture, health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education and protection.

He said: “Since the onset of the drought, thus far, over 1,5 million people have received food assistance, through in-kind assistance and cash-based transfers from WFP and a number of NGOs such as CARE, Save the Children, and World Vision. In addition, over 8 000 households received subsidised survival stock feed saving 13 000 cattle from deaths from FAO. (Food and Agriculture Organisation)

“A total of 270 boreholes and three piped water schemes were rehabilitated, restoring safe water supply to nearly 75 000 people by Unicef. And over 100 000 people were reached with critical life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene non-food items and messages. Moreover, over 65 000 people received non-food items and over 200 000 children were screened for malnutrition and provided with nutritional support by UN and NGOs.”

Mr Parajuli said beyond the ongoing drought response, UN through the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) will support Zimbabwe in enhancing preparedness and disaster risk reduction capacities at all levels and support early recovery, resilience-building and long-term development programmes.

UN remains the country’s biggest developmental agency as it recently announced that through ZUNDAF it set aside $1,6 billion to help the country achieve some of the goals outlined in the country’s economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).