HomeLocal NewsHumanitarian bodies up Zim aid to $500m

Humanitarian bodies up Zim aid to $500m

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The country’s humanitarian assistance funding requirements have been revised upwards to close to $500 million as the country continues to face underlying economic and political challenges.
The main increase is accounted for by the extension of the food aid activities until the end of the year whereas originally the requirements covered activities up to April this year.
Initial appeal in December last year was $370 million.
The revised Consolidated Appeal Process (Cap) was necessitated by significant increases in requirements for the health, food and agriculture clusters.
Speaking at the launch of the mid-year review of Cap, United Nations humanitarian coordinator Alain Noudehou said despite the increase in food production compared to last year food assistance was still necessary.
Noudehou said there was a need for all concerned parties to work in partnership in order to address the challenges that continue to face poor families in Zimbabwe.
“We now require at least $478 million as a result of the dry spell that affected crops between December last year and February this year,” he said. “Our support should avoid creating a dependency syndrome within the people”.
Secretary for Regional Integration and International Trade Tadeous Chifamba said government has identified food security as a priority.
Chifamba said apart from the ill, elderly and child-headed families who would continue to receive parcels of food for free, other beneficiaries would be encouraged to work for their assistance.
“There is a need to introduce a programme that will eradicate dependence but that will promote sustainable development,” he said.
Recent crop assessments for the 2009/10 agricultural season have estimated that despite some extended periods of drought in parts of the country, food security has slightly increased compared to the 2008/09 season.
Timely agricultural inputs and extension support provided by humanitarian partners in the past season played a role in reducing food insecurity levels.
According to the Office of Co-ordination for Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), key priorities for the remainder of the year would be to improve food security levels, prevention of and rapid response to disease outbreaks, protection-related issues and response to natural disasters.
Ocha said the humanitarian situation in the country required a different approach than most crises as emergencies continue to develop into major crises requiring relief assistance, due to unaddressed structural degradation in the basic sectors.
Mark Atterton, chair of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) forum, said there was need to review the Cap process in order to improve its effectiveness.
Atterton said NGOs faced serious funding challenges to fully carry out their programmes.
“There is a need for a robust needs assessment and to put in place a longer strategic plan for two to three years,” said Atterton.

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