UNICEF Zimbabwe Appeals for US$84.9 Million


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D/Telegraph Correspondent

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Zimbabwe is appealing for US$84.9 million to reach an estimated 1.3 million people affected by the El Niño phenomenon, which has devastated the country’s crops and livestock.

The funds are intended to assist children in drought-affected areas through health and nutrition, water and sanitation, child protection, and education programs.

UNICEF’s appeal is part of the recently launched UN interagency appeal, which aims to support the government’s response to the emergency caused by El Niño.

Dr Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe, stated that the country is facing an El Niño emergency that is particularly impacting children under five years old, pregnant and lactating women, and adolescents.

“UNICEF urgently appeals for USD 84.9 million to fund its emergency response, aimed at assisting children and women affected by the El Niño crisis in Zimbabwe.

“This funding will provide life-saving interventions to 1.34 million people, including 866,000 children, amid a complex humanitarian crisis exacerbated by water and food shortages,” said Dr Alipui.

The challenges presented by El Niño in Zimbabwe coincide with public health emergencies related to cholera and polio, creating a complex and multi-dimensional humanitarian crisis in the country.

Dr Alipui expressed particular concern about the vulnerability of children in the current emergency. Reduced access to clean water and a poor diet increase the risk of malnutrition and diarrheal diseases among children, affecting their right to education and protection.

The full impact of these intersecting factors is expected to manifest later, emphasizing the need for a preventive strategy to avert excess deaths in the coming months.

UNICEF’s appeal focuses primarily on ensuring continued access to integrated health, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, education, and child protection services for children and their caregivers in collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe and partners.

“We urge the donor community to generously support UNICEF’s appeal, emphasizing the critical need to secure children’s rights to health, education, and protection during this crisis.

“The funding will help mitigate child morbidity and mortality, prevent malnutrition and provide treatment, enhance water access, ensure continuous learning for children, and protect children against abuse and exploitation.

“It will also help strengthen household resilience in dealing with the crisis,” stressed Dr Alipui.

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