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Zimbabwe, UN work on draft for humanitarian appeal

Zimbabwe, UN agree to keep working on new draft for humanitarian appeal

The United Nations country team and Government officials in Zimbabwe reached agreement today to establish a working level joint committee to draw up a new draft of a flash humanitarian appeal to raise money to help the 700,000 people left destitute by a Government slum clearance campaign, the United Nations humanitarian agency said today.

The UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it expected to have news on the outcome of this process towards the end of the week.

The arrangement follows a news briefing in New York last week by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, who said that the two sides could not agree on wording to describe how many people were affected by the evictions.

Zimbabwe’s two-month-old Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order) urban eviction programme, described by senior UN officials as an ongoing violation of human rights, has forced an estimated 650,000 to 700,000 people into conditions much worse in many cases than before they were evicted, Mr. Egeland said.

He also said that the world body has been using funding from an earlier appeal to provide some aid to 170,000 people affected by the evictions. But a much broader programme is sorely needed to address the larger-scale emergency in the country which has seen life expectancy plummet from around 63 years in the late 1980s and early 1990s to 33.9 years in 2004.

The complex emergency in Zimbabwe comprises a combination of widespread food insecurity, high unemployment and a 25 per cent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.

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