Zimbabwean children, women most affected by hunger


UNICEF Country Representative for Zimbabwe, Dr Nicholas Alipu

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is appealing for US$84,9 million to fund its emergency response aimed at assisting children and women affected by the drought in Zimbabwe.

This funding will provide life-saving interventions to 1,34 million people, including 866 000 children.

This amid a complex humanitarian crisis exacerbated by water and food shortages.

Zimbabwe is experiencing an El Nino emergency impacting severely children under five years, pregnant and lactating women as well as adolescents.

The challenges come at a time when the country is also faced with public health emergencies related to cholera and polio, putting Zimbabwe into a complex, multi-dimensional humanitarian crisis.

“We are particularly concerned about the vulnerability of children in this current emergency,” Dr Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe, said.

El Nino’s induced drought is creating numerous health issues affecting children, including disease outbreaks, infectious and respiratory illnesses and increased levels of malnutrition.

Water scarcity is expected to contribute to the spread of diarrheal and other water-scarce diseases among children.

The drought is increasing household’s poverty and vulnerability and the risk of school dropouts and violence, and abuse and exploitation against children.

Alipui said the funding would help mitigate child morbidity and mortality, prevent malnutrition and provide treatment, enhance water access, ensure continuous learning for children and protect children against abuse and exploitation.

“It will also help strengthen the resilience of households to deal with the crisis,” he said.

– CAJ News

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