UN, aid agencies launch US$60 million Zim relief appeal for cyclone, drought

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By Anna Chibamu

ZIMBABWE is in urgent need of a US$60 million relief fund to ease the impact of Cyclone Idai, drought and economic challenges, the United Nations has announced.

During a revised launch of the Humanitarian Flash Appeal which will include response to Cyclone Idai, an additional of US$60 million is required urgently.

This brings the total amount required by humanitarian partners on behalf of Zimbabwe to US$294 million.

The funds sought are meant to complement national response efforts to drought, economic challenges and the devastating Cyclone Idai which left more than 300 dead, more missing and hundreds of thousands in need of forms of assistance.

In a statement Friday, UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli reaffirmed the commitments made by the humanitarian community towards the cause of vulnerable sections of the Zimbabwean population.

He further called for an urgent response to the revised humanitarian flash appeal in order to meet various immediate needs, including food, water, shelter, health and nutrition, education, protection, and logistics as well as early recovery needs.

“The United Nations, in response to Government’s request, launched a Humanitarian Flash Appeal recently, requesting for USD 234million to address the emergency needs of 2.2 million people as a result of economic challenges and drought in urban and rural areas of the country,” said Parajuli during the appeal launch on Friday.

“Cyclone Idai has left an additional 270,000 people extremely vulnerable, bringing the total number of people targeted for humanitarian assistance by the UN and humanitarian partners to 2.47 million people with USD 294 million resources required.”

Government, through recent findings by the Zimbabwe Vulnerable Assessment Committee, also reported that over 5 million people will be food insecure in 2019.

According to the UN Financial Tracking System (FTS), the funding for the drought response stands at USD 25.5 million, representing 11% of the total requirement.

For Cyclone Idai, the total funding received so far amounts to USD 5.4 million.

Several additional pledges have been made by humanitarian partners and the FTS will update the response level going forward.

To date, the UN in Zimbabwe has delivered over USD 1.2 billion in various development projects under the 2016-2020 ZUNDAF as it works towards inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country.