About one million children in Zimbabwe are at risk of malnutrition amid indications the need for food assistance will increase in the first half of next year, a United Nations report has revealed.
According to The report entitled Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP), published by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) last week, one in every 10 Zimbabweans would need food assistance in the first half of next year.
The period would be the peak of the harvesting season in Zimbabwe.
“It is projected that 1 026 million people (12% of the population) will still require food assistance at the peak of the 2012 lean season,” reads the report in part.
“Rates for chronic and acute child malnutrition still stand at 34% and 2,4%, respectively.
“A third of rural Zimbabweans still drink from unprotected water sources and are thus exposed to water-borne diseases.”
The report said despite localised outbreaks that continued this year due to poor infrastructure for water, sanitation, hygiene and health, the cholera incidence had significantly decreased compared to past years.
But the report said the low coverage of basic healthcare “has led to rising maternal and child mortality and overall excess morbidity and mortality”.
“The HIV and Aids prevalence stands at 13,7% and substantially increases vulnerabilities,” adds the report.
“With funding expected to increasingly come from non-humanitarian channels in 2012, the Humanitarian Country Team proposes a more humanitarian-focused CAP showing clear complementarities and linkages between humanitarian and recovery/development components,” said the report.
The report said the main humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe related to food security, continued threat of disease outbreaks, chronic illnesses, returned migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
OCHA is appealing for $268, 3 million to meet Zimbabwe’s humanitarian needs.