By Anna Chibamu
GOVERNMENT, in conjunction with the United Nations (UN) Thursday launched a 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan sponsored to the tune of US$715 million.
The initiative is meant to eradicate hunger and poverty with over seven million people in need of multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance.
Of the seven million people, over five million are in need of food aid.
Local Government Minister July Moyo and UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Ribeiro Thursday signed the Humanitarian Response Plan while President Emmerson Mnangagwa as well as World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) representatives witnessed the occasion.
“The Humanitarian Response Plan prioritises life-saving and life-sustaining support targeting the people most in need, including residual humanitarian needs of Cyclone Idai-affected communities and on-going support to refugees.
“The response plan for Zimbabwe will be implemented in collaboration with 47 operational partners through cluster approach, in which, of the total USD 715m required: approximately 60% or USD422m planned for food security; USD 63m for health; USD 61m to water, sanitation and hygiene; USD 42m to education; USD 21m to protection; USD 18m to nutrition; USD 10m to shelter, and USD 950,000 to camp coordination and management,” read part of the UN statement.
According to UN, the humanitarian response plan launch comes in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when there are over one million infections in the world.
Zimbabwe has so far reported nine confirmed COVID-19 cases including one death, while 307 suspected cases of the global pandemic tested negative.
“The Humanitarian Response Plan will play a key role in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting those most vulnerable in communities in Zimbabwe.”
President Mnangagwa declared COVID-19 a national disaster and since then, efforts have been scaled up to further contain the spread of the disease.
UN added immediate complementary interventions to the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020, in support of the Zimbabwe COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plan.
“The Zimbabwe Humanitarian Response Plan addresses the increasing vulnerabilities of an estimated seven million people who need multi-sectoral humanitarian support. Food insecurity remains the major concern with over 4.3 million people – or 46% of the rural population – requiring continued assistance.
“Since 2019, Zimbabwe has experienced multiple climate and economic related shocks impacting the lives of many in both rural and urban communities. Today the COVID-19 Pandemic is the latest shock impacting on the wellbeing and livelihoods of Zimbabweans.”