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United Nations Seeks US$430 Million For Drought-hit Zimbabwe

United Nations Seeks US$430 Million For Drought-hit Zimbabwe

The United Nations humanitarian agency has launched an appeal for $430 million to feed 3.1 million Zimbabweans who are in urgent need of food aid after the country’s worst drought in four decades.

The severe drought is attributed to El Nino, a naturally occurring climatic phenomenon that warms parts of the Pacific Ocean every two to seven years.

In southern Africa, El Nino typically causes below-average rainfall, but this year has seen the worst drought in 40 years.

In the appeal, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Edward Kallon said the money is to help the 3.1 million people in the most severely affected districts for the coming year. He said on Thursday:

To respond to the scenario, this Flash Appeal requires US$429.3 million for humanitarian partners to target close to 3.1 million people.

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The appeal aims to mobilise humanitarian action in support of the government-led response and is directly complementing the government’s own relief efforts.

We have ensured that this appeal is prioritised and principled, and we are confident that the activities planned are the most urgently needed to deliver immediate relief to the people who need it the most.

I therefore call on the international community to show solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe community to show solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe at this extremely challenging time and to stand with us as we step up our response to this devastating event.

The U.N. agency said close to 2 million children, both boys and girls, could be forced to drop out of school due to the impact of the drought. Said Killion:

Based on the two severities, 46 districts have been identified as a priority, with a target population of 3.1 million people requiring USD 429.3 million.

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This approach is expected to maximise the impact of collective humanitarian action and to ensure that the areas of greatest need are reached first.

The UN intervention will include livestock production, food assistance, cash transfers, and the construction of solarised boreholes and water pans that would provide drinking water for people and starving livestock.

Harvests for maize for the 2023-24 season are estimated at 700,000 tonnes, which is 70% down from last season.

Zimbabwe requires 2.2 million tonnes annually to meet the demand for humans and livestock, according to government crop assessment figures.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently declared a national disaster and launched an appeal for US$2 billion to try and mitigate the disaster.

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