Zimbabwe: Unicef Zimbabwe in U.S.$66 Million Appeal for Vulnerable Communities

(File photo).
20 September 2021

UNICEF Zimbabwe is appealing for US$ 65.8 million to meet Zimbabwe's humanitarian needs for 2021 as a result of the multiple hazards of residual impacts of Cyclone Idai, and floods.

The funds are also meant to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, diarrhoeal disease outbreaks, and the economic crisis.

As of the end of last month, only US$11 million translating to 17% of the total 2021 funding requirement, had been secured.

In its situation report released Saturday, UNICEF said despite improved cereal security in the country as a result of increased maize yield food insecurity has persisted in some areas including in urban areas.

Urban areas have also been affected by the reduction in employment and household incomes compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have affected the affordability of basic food, goods and services.

"According to the ZIMSTAT (Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency) Rapid PICES phone survey conducted from December 2020 to 10 March 2021, a significant share of households continued to report reduced income from various sources in the aftermath of the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak," UNICEF said in its report.

"Access to health favoured urban areas compared to rural areas, and lack of money was the primary reason for not being able to access medical treatment as sited by 78% of households.

"The year-on year-inflation rate for the month of August 2021, as measured by all items in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), stood at 50.24% - a marked reduction from 107% in June 2021."

The report added: "However, the month-on-month inflation rate in August 2021 was at 4.18% gaining from 3.88% recorded in June 2021. This marginal increase in month-on-month inflation continues to exert pressure on the prices of basic goods and services on the domestic market.

"The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe with a sharp increase in cases between June and August 2021 before a steady decrease of cases during the second half of August 2021.

UNICEF noted despite the national Covid-19 vaccination campaign continuing to progress steadily between, some negative perceptions and barriers to vaccination still persist."

This, according to the report, included reckless behaviour among the youth with perceptions of immunity to Covid-19, unrestrained visits to bars where they do not to social distance, and share drinks and cigarettes in violation of Covid-19 safety measures.

"There is also misinformation circulating amongst young people that there have been deaths and complications after people have been vaccinated which is still a major setback in the vaccination campaign.

"This underscores the need to continue to reinforce the general Covid-19 safety measures and national vaccination campaign that increases dialogue and reinforcement for positive behaviours in dealing with Covid-19."

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