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UNICEF Seeks $26.8M to Tackle El Niño Drought Impact in Zimbabwe

UNICEF Seeks $26.8M to Tackle El Niño Drought Impact in Zimbabwe

UNICEF is urgently appealing for $26.8 million to address the severe effects of an El Niño-induced drought in Zimbabwe. The funds are intended to alleviate water scarcity, food insecurity, malnutrition, potential flooding risks, and epidemics.

Targeting the most vulnerable districts in Zimbabwe, UNICEF aims to assist approximately two million children who are at risk of preventable diseases and malnutrition.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe Faces Cattle Crisis: 9,000 Dead, 1.4 Million at Risk Due to Drought

The 2024 Humanitarian Action for Children report from UNICEF highlights that at least 45 million children in eastern and southern Africa are highly susceptible to diseases and malnutrition linked to climate change.

UNICEF is urging donors and partners to contribute to its critical response efforts to mitigate the long-term consequences of the El Niño-induced drought on vulnerable communities.

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“Unicef is seeking US$26,8 million to address the impacts of an El Niño-induced drought that is expected to result in water scarcity, food insecurity and nutrition crises.

“The appeal also considers potential flooding hazards as the 2023/24 rainfall season unfolds, along with epidemics and outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases, including the ongoing cholera outbreak.

“It also aims to address the protection needs of children who may be on the move due to a potential large influx of returnees from South Africa once exemption permits expire,” the agency said.

UNICEF stated that the funds will also be utilized to enhance community resilience against future droughts and other climate-related calamities. This initiative, as outlined by UNICEF, encompasses investments in infrastructure like water storage systems and irrigation equipment, alongside offering training and capacity-building for local communities to improve their preparedness and response to emergencies.

As per the report, UNICEF will additionally introduce a $15 million program to address the nutrition crisis, food insecurity, and water and sanitation challenges in vulnerable communities.

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“Out of the total appeal, US$5 million is planned to tackle the ongoing nutrition crisis, which has been exacerbated by food insecurity.

“An additional US$4 million will support 3 000 households with six months of payments and provide a one-time payment of US$100 to 18 600 households in food-insecure districts supported by Unicef.

“This will help them to better prepare for and respond to the impending drought caused by El Niño. Approximately US$6 million will be designated to address the water and sanitation crisis. The primary goal is to contain the cholera outbreak and prevent further diarrhoeal disease outbreaks.”

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