The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Zimbabwe have appealed for US$84.9 million to enable the country to respond to both the immediate public health crisis and secondary impacts caused by COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable people.
Zimbabwe is already reeling from a devastating drought that left millions of people in need of food aid, whose plight has been worsened by the ailing economy.
The appeal for the country comes after UN and partners Thursday launched an updated Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) in New York requesting for US$6.7 billion to protect millions of lives and stem the spread of coronavirus in fragile countries.
The revised GHRP includes nine additional vulnerable countries: Benin, Djibouti, Liberia, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zimbabwe, and programmes to respond to the growth in food insecurity.
Launching the updated GHRP, UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock called for a swift and determined action to avoid the most destabilising effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is where Zimbabwe appealed for US$84.9 million to respond to both the immediate public health crisis and the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable people in Zimbabwe.
Noting that the request was in addition to the US$715 million appeal for the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) launched earlier April 2, 2020, the UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Maria Ribeiro, said the additional funding would contribute to improved livelihoods that were already suffering.
“This additional appeal is part of the GHRP which will contribute to Zimbabwe’s national response on COVID-19, particularly addressing the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, women, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, refugees, migrants, and those affected by drought and food insecurity,” she said.
While expressing her appreciation for the strong partnership with Government, donors, development and humanitarian partners, Ribeiro called on all humanitarian and development partners to redouble efforts to make sure there was a timely and adequate response to mitigate the triple crisis of socio-economic challenge, drought and COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
The COVID-19 addendum to the GHRP seeks to mobilise emergency funding for UN agencies and NGOs to provide support to public health emergency response to contain the spread of the COVID-19, through health programming, risk communication and community engagement, infection control and prevention, and provision of water supply and increased hygiene and sanitation intervention.