Zimbabwe: Us$2,2bn Assistance Needed

U.S. dollars.

Zimbabwe needs US$2,2 billion worth of humanitarian aid over the next 12 months, with over two thirds for drought relief food and agriculture and US$220 million to fight Covid-19, according to a formal appeal made by President Mnangagwa yesterday.

Already, the United Nations (UN)has launched an interim humanitarian appeal for US$770 million, including a special US$70 million earmarked for Covid-19 response

The Zimbabwe Domestic and Humanitarian Appeal for Assistance, signed yesterday by President Mnangagwa, covers the period from April 2020 to April 2021.

The main breakdown of requirements are:

Food insecurity response -- US$955,67 million;

Social protection -- US$20,8 million;

Education -- US$75 million;

Health -- US$37 million;

Agriculture -- US$469 million.

Covid-19 response -- US$220,4 million;

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) -- US$34 million;

Nutrition -- US$13,87 million;

Irrigation infrastructure and livestock multiplication --US$2,473 million;

Shelter and logistics -- US$151,25 million; and

Wildlife and livestock hay baling -- US$64,1 million.

According to the Government's appeal, 7,7 million people, both rural and urban, need urgent food assistance and the targeted population for nutrition supplement is 1,7 million people.

Another 1,7 million require social protection and in agriculture, 1,8 million people are in need of assistance.

The number of people needing assistance in education stands at 3,21 million and those who require health support is 12,2 million.

In his foreword accompanying the appeal, President Mnangagwa said: "New emerging risks compounded the humanitarian landscape.

"The World Health Organisation has declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. The Government in collaboration with development partners has activated the surveillance and preparedness systems.

"However, the advancement of the disease in this country, the region and its continued upsurge worldwide demands that robust extra-ordinary steps be undertaken to stave off the threat posed by Covid-19 . . .

"We therefore appeal to the domestic and international community for solidarity and support to Zimbabweans at this critical juncture."

In a brief address to journalists after the launch, President Mnangagwa said he was confident that with support from cooperating partners and the United Nations, Zimbabwe would be able to respond reasonably to the prevailing challenges.

"We are happy that we are collaborating with the United Nations in Zimbabwe led by Madam Maria Ribeiro to sign these two documents.

"The Zimbabwe Domestic and Humanitarian Appeal for Assistance to the international community is by us and we have no doubt that cooperating partners will come forward and help in the challenges we are facing.

"The United Nations itself is also launching this humanitarian response plan to assist us respond to the current pandemic in the country," said President Mnangagwa.

In her address, UN resident coordinator Ms Maria Ribeiro said the UN assistance was targeting more than five million people.

"The humanitarian assistance response plan looks at assisting a target of 5,3 million Zimbabweans in health, food security, water and sanitation, and education and protection.

"We have also included in the humanitarian response plan a supplement, which will address the most urgent needs in terms of the coronavirus response," she said.

Ms Maria Ribeiro added: "It's not exclusive; it's not a definitive response plan. But it is indicative of the kind of resources that are needed in Zimbabwe for the UN to support the Government in its coronavirus response.

The total figure for the humanitarian response plan is US$700 million and the supplement relating to the coronavirus is an additional US$70 million."

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