The government and the United Nations yesterday held a joint multi-stakeholder consultative meeting to assess the impact of the El Nino-induced drought in the country and to urgently prepare a co-ordinated response to the likely humanitarian needs.
BY Staff Reporter
UN resident co-ordinator and United Nations Development Programme resident representative, Bishow Parajuli called on all stakeholders to join hands and focus on responding adequately and timely to the urgent needs of the food-insecure population while building community resilience as an integral component of the response.
According to reports 1,5 million Zimbabweans will over the next three months be short of food until the next harvest.
With the current trend, the initial national response plan of $132 million launched in October 2015 to respond to the food insecurity situation would likely go up further.
The United States, Britain, and the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund have so far raised $59 million out of the $132 million required for food and cash support.
“It is critical to urgently respond to the growing humanitarian challenge caused by the El Nino phenomenon and to complement government and partners support,” Parajuli said.
Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Christian Katsande said the forecast drought would significantly increase food and nutrition insecurity in the country.
“Rehabilitation of national irrigation infrastructure for increased food production has to be scaled up urgently,” he said.
European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme said partners had to urgently determine the immediate humanitarian needs to allow for co-ordination and facilitation between different stakeholders.