The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has appealed for US$70.9 million to address the deepening Zimbabwean humanitarian crisis which is reportedly being worsened by the combined effects of drought, economic recession and the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes as statistics suggest that over half of the country’s total population is facing starvation following a poor farming season last year and the situation is expected to extend to next year. In a recent report, Unicef said:
Unicef is appealing for US$70,9 million to meet the increased humanitarian needs in the country in 2020 as a result of the multiple hazards of drought, residual impacts of Cyclone Idai, diarrheal disease outbreaks, and an economic crisis compounded by the current Covid-19 outbreak.
Without a well-resourced response, the Covid-19 epidemic is projected to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities among children, with a lasting negative impact on children’s education and learning outcomes.
The combined impact of drought and economic deterioration has thus worsened the dire situation of vulnerable children, placing them at a heightened risk of increased protection violations and negative coping strategies.
This comes after the Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) and World Food Programme (WFP)’s July analysis
included Zimbabwe among 27 countries in the world facing COVID-19-induced famine.