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Fund Seeks Access To Dying Zimbabwean Children

UN Children's Fund Seeks Access To Zimbabwean Children Dying Of Treatable Diseases

New York, Jul 26 2005 4:00PM

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), addressing the demolition of housing in Zimbabwe that has left hundreds of thousands homeless, today expressed horror that displaced children there are dying of treatable respiratory infections and evicted women have no alternative to giving birth in the open.

Referring to a report by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka on the consequences of Zimbabwe's Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order), which left some 700,000 people homeless, <"">UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman called for an immediate end to the demolitions and added: "There is understandable outrage about what is happening to children in Zimbabwe.

"More than 220,000 children are homeless, without access to food, water or health care. Tens of thousands of children are no longer in schools," she said.

Responding to the emergency, UNICEF said it had handed out such items as 15 kilometres of plastic sheeting, tens of thousands of blankets, 90,000 litres of water daily and play equipment to children under 5, but it is still expanding its operations and it noted that large numbers of the evicted children are missing their education.

The crisis deepens a humanitarian nightmare that includes the sharpest rises in child mortality in the world, the fourth-highest rate of HIV infection globally, fuel shortages, a growing food emergency and declining economic performance, it said.


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