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UN chief to visit Zim

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UNITED Nations’ deputy humanitarian chief Catherine Bragg is set to visit Zimbabwe this week where she will meet with government officials and aid workers over food security and disaster resilience in the country.Report by Own Correspondent

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a statement yesterday said Bragg  would  visit  Zimbabwe, South Africa and  Botswana between October 15-19.

“The visit aims at taking  stock of the humanitarian challenges in the region, and support national and regional efforts to promote disaster risk reduction including resilience and preparedness,” Ocha said.

Bragg’s  visit started in Botswana yesterday where she met the 15-member Southern African Development Community secretariat and discussed how UN agencies and other humanitarian partners could better support the bloc’s  humanitarian response and disaster preparedness efforts.

“While in South Africa, she is scheduled to meet with the International Relation and Co-operation minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane to discuss South Africa’s increasingly active role in supporting international and regional humanitarian efforts,” the statement said.

The visits came amid reports by the UN that over 5,5 million people  across Southern Africa face food shortages due to the impact of recurrent natural disasters such as droughts, floods and rising food prices.

Visit comes amid starvation in Zimbabwe

The Food and Agriculture Organisation recently stated that more than 1,6 million people needed food assistance in Zimbabwe between October and March next year following poor harvests during the last season with Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo provinces being the worst affected.

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