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Zimbabwe: UN Children’s Agency Appeals For $124m

Zimbabwe: UN Children’s Agency Appeals For $124 Million

Faced with a breakdown in essential health and education services in Zimbabwe and a growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appealed to the international community for $124 million in humanitarian funding for the southern African country.

The Appeal, known as the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP), stresses that five years of deterioration in the social and economic sector have led to a serious humanitarian crisis. The Appeal is being extended from 2003 to December 2004.

“We know that the brunt of this humanitarian crisis is being hardest felt by the country’s children, but especially the growing population of orphans, who are most likely to end up hungry, out of school and at risk of abuse,” UNICEF Representative Festo Kavishe said. “If we do not respond, the price will be paid by these children, who deprived of an education, good health and emotional support, will be ill-equipped to cope in a world as adults.”

With high levels of unemployment, more than five million people lacing a secure supply of food, and HIV/AIDS continuing to have a devastating impact, larger segments of the population are unable to afford or access health services and education, increasing their risk of disease, malnutrition, and destitution.

Under the Appeal, UNICEF and its partners are calling for immediate assistance for emergency nutrition for high-risk communities and for strengthening the health system’s ability to respond to the outbreak of disease, particularly cholera and malaria, and to ensure the maintenance of immunization services for children.

Other priority areas include repairing and building water facilities to provide access to safe water and sanitation and respond to the outbreak of water borne diseases, and funding for education where school fees and levies have increased, in some cases more than 2000 per cent, with more and more children dropping out.

Priority will also be given to supporting those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, strengthening the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission and increasing prevention activities.

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