The United Nations is requesting $234 million in humanitarian assistance for more than five million Zimbabweans in need.
Zimbabwe’s estimated 17 million people are facing a devastating drought and a declining economy.
The U.N on Thursday launched an international appeal for aid for Zimbabwe following a drought that it expects to affect around a third of the population as crop yields plummet.
“We are requesting for, as part of this launch, 234 million dollars from multi sectoral humanitarian and residents spending activities that have been implemented by some 70 humanitarian partners,” said Bishow Parajuli, United Nations Coordinator in Zimbabwe.
Parajuli stated that out of the nearly 5.3 million people who are estimated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection, the flash appeal is targeting 2.2 million people in both rural and urban communities.
According to a UN statement, these funds are needed “to provide food, sanitation, water, hygiene and protection for 2.2 million of the 5.3 million people in need over the next six months.
“I am releasing 10 million dollars today as a first contribution to the appeal,” said Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
Zimbabwe’s annual maize consumption is 1.8 million tonnes and the Ministry of Agriculture said it is still assessing the extent of the drought, while Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the country has 500,000 tonnes in a strategic reserve.