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UK provides nearly US$60 million in humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe

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Harare, Zimbabwe, August  11 (Infosplusgabon) - The United Kingdom (UK) has announced £49 million (US$58.92 million) in humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe towards combating the growing food insecurity with half the 14 million population at risk of going hungry by year end.

 

This follows the United States government and European Union (EU) having scaled up humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe with US government offering US$45 million and the EU giving US$11.5 million.

 

The monetary support from the UK is expected to be given to trusted partners to help malnourished children, families and communities following the revised US$331 million United Nations (UN) Zimbabwe Humanitarian appeal. This is an increase from March’s US$294 million UN appeal, due to the drought and worsening macroeconomic environment.

 

“The Government of Zimbabwe must do more to deliver the promised fundamental political and economic reforms and take responsibility for the humanitarian crisis affecting its people. The UK stands with the people of Zimbabwe at a time when millions are at risk of starvation and disease. Through trusted partners we will continue to give families access to food and clean water, and support children to gain a decent education,” UK International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said.

 

Last month, the Zimbabwe government put the figure of food insecure persons at 6.7 million up from March’s 5.57 million following Cyclone Idai.

 

This comes as Zimbabwe is facing a chronic food crisis as crops have been devastated by the effects of drought, economic crisis and the powerful category three Cyclone Idai storm in March.

 

What is unique about the current food crisis is that it is closely linked to the economic challenges in Zimbabwe which has led to high unemployment and high inflation.

 

On top of this, water shortages are also leaving the country more susceptible to disease outbreaks as people struggle to find clean sources of drinking water.

 

“It’s been a very challenging a year for Zimbabweans with the combination of a drought leading to a failed harvest, the impact of the cyclone and the economic crisis. People affected by Cyclone Idai continue to require support for food and restoration of livelihoods. We call on the donor governments to dig deep and to provide the funding urgently needed to prevent a major humanitarian disaster,” GOAL Country Director in Zimbabwe, Gabriella Prandini said.

 

As such, the Irish humanitarian aid agency, GOAL, has expressed concern at the growing food crisis in Zimbabwe as the UN warned millions of people in Zimbabwe are on the verge of “starvation”.

 

According to GOAL research, it found that increases in food prices coupled with the unavailability of fuel may hamper the implementation of its relief programmes in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

FIN/INFOSPLUSGABON/BIC/GABON2019

 

 

 

 

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