News / Africa

    UN Launches Worldwide Appeal for Zimbabwe Aid

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    The United Nations has launched a worldwide appeal for humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe.  The U.N. acknowledged there already had been some improvements in Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation.

    Alain Noudehou, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Zimbabwe, launched the $131 million appeal on Tuesday.  He said the fund would be aimed at addressing ongoing food shortages, waterborne disease outbreaks and issues affecting Zimbabweans deported from neighboring countries.

    “We are appealing for $131 million this year," Noudehou said. "Approximately 80 percent of this year’s request will be devoted to food security.”

    Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food to the region until its agro-based economy took a nosedive in the early 2000s.

    This was after President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a chaotic land reform program displacing experienced white commercial farmers.  They were replaced with black peasant farmers who had little -- if any -- knowledge of commercial farming, nor the money to provide needed irrigation.

    Since then the country has been depending on food handouts to feed its people.

    At the launch of the U.N. appeal Tuesday, a senior official in Zimbabwe's ministry of regional integration and international cooperation, Tedious Chifamba, said Harare was tackling its problems.

    “Zimbabwe is neither a classic humanitarian case nor is it a failed state," Chifamba said. "There are more deserving cases out there which are competing with us which are indeed victims of extreme weather conditions… Or natural or manmade calamities such as volcanoes, earthquakes tsunamis, wars, etcetera.”

    U.N. officials say this year's appeal is about $70 million less than last year's because of the steady improvement in the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe brought about by recovery in some key sectors of the economy.

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    Comments
         
    by: Wordsmith
    January 16, 2013 9:37 AM
    Events prior to to the land invasions and seizures along with violence, the erosion of the judiciary and collapse of the economy, human rights, can no longer be denied. No amount of "wordsmithing" or blaming the weather or other issues, can
    absolve what has actually happened in that Country. The real
    tragedy of an African Country.

    by: ExiledInCali from: East Bay, SF
    January 15, 2013 11:56 PM
    The government and people of Zimbabwe have been on a campaign to drive out or kill the commercial white farmers. This country used to be a net exporter of grain. You rally do reap what you sow. Not one dime of US aid should go to this country.

    by: Oversimplifiction
    January 15, 2013 10:51 PM
    Oversimplification, a chain of events that led to a downward spiral
    in many ways, mainly the land seizures, where many farms were seized, farmers dispossessed of their liveliehood, lives lost, unemployment, not mention the economy, and collapse of justice.
    Ignoring all these events, including indigenisation has far reaching consequences. Imagine if the West introduced such a policy.

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