Govt, UN agencies to hold second drought stakeholders’ meeting


GOVERNMENT and United Nations agencies will tomorrow jointly host a second drought multi-stakeholder consultative meeting to provide a comprehensive overview of the humanitarian crisis caused by the El Nino-induced drought currently ravaging Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa.


President R.G.Mugabe
President R.G.Mugabe

The first meeting was held in January and was followed by President Robert Mugabe’s declaration of State of Disaster and the launch of domestic and international appeals for assistance to mitigate the impact of the drought.

The objective of the meeting will be to provide updates on the progress made in drought response efforts so far, as well as discuss current sectoral priority needs, operational gaps and challenges.

The meeting will also enhance co-ordination and intensify the implementation of multi-sectorial drought response efforts for the coming months.

“From the outset of the drought response, regular consultations were held between the various stakeholders to assess the situation and to coordinate efforts,” part of a statement jointly signed by government and the UN donor agencies read.

“In response to the government’s appeal and the updated Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report, the UN and humanitarian partners supported by the development partners have been scaling up their drought response efforts to address the needs to food-insecure people, currently estimated at 2,8 million.

“In light of the evolving situation, the government, UN and humanitarian partners are in the process of further refining the joint humanitarian response plan covering key sectors: food security and agriculture; health and nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; social protection; and education.”

Meanwhile, the main opposition MDC-T yesterday accused Zanu PF officials of dangling food a few metres away from where party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was addressing public meetings in Mashonaland East province over the weekend.

In a statement yesterday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said: “At Kotwa, the army had earlier warned people not to attend the meeting, while a food distribution function was organised near the venue of the rally to sway starving citizens from the MDC meetings. In any case, the food was brazenly being distributed in a partisan manner as Zanu PF party cards were a requirement at the food distribution function presided over by party functionaries.”