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UN Renews Appeal for Zimbabwe Aid


U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations have launched a revised appeal for Zimbabwe's immediate humanitarian requirements.

A group calling itself "The Consolidated Appeal Process" is asking the donor community for $719-million, nearly $200-million more than it originally asked for last November. The funding is needed for agriculture, health, education, food aid and safe water.

Speaking at the launch, Zimbabwe U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Dr. Agostinho Zacarias said the review was made necessary by the changes in the country's political and socio-economic situation since January.

"The formulation of the inclusive government in February followed by the launch of the Short Term Economic Recovery Plan in March supported by a 100 day implementation plan have paved the way for the country's reconstruction," Zacarias said.

He also mentioned issues such as the use of foreign currencies and the failure of the agricultural sector to meet the country's food requirements.

The appeal has also been reviewed to take into consideration the government's Short Term Economic Recovery Plan. It notes that despite the formation of the new government, Zimbabwe still needs a lot of assistance.

It says despite the donor community's help in checking the cholera outbreak late last year if the water and sanitation situation remain unchanged, a new outbreak at the onset of the next rainy season could lead to more cases than the 100,000 so far this year.

The appeal points out that halfway through the year, Zimbabwe's humanitarian needs are under-funded. It says direct funding to the appeal is only 17 percent, 25 percent less than at the same time last year.

Zacarias appealed to the donors to give generously and support the implementation of programs contained in the revised appeal.

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