HARARE – More than 32 000 people affected by floods will benefit from the United Nations (UN) Central Emergency Fund (CERF) which committed $1,6 million to provide shelter, water sanitation and hygiene to 20 districts.
The UN response comes after $8,2 million was last year allocated towards assisting over four million people that were affected by the severe drought.
CERF is in response to government’s $188 million humanitarian assistance plea following the floods which destroyed homes, roads and other infrastructure.
UN resident coordinator BIshow Parajuli said the fund will meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable, particularly those still living in temporary camps in southern Zimbabwe.
“The CERF fund is a critical resource that guarantees life-saving interventions in support of affected communities. CERF, which will be implemented by Unicef, IOM and UNFPA together with government ministries, local authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), will provide life-saving interventions to over 23 800 people with water, sanitation and hygiene,” he said.
“Over 12 500 pupils will receive emergency education materials while over 2 600 households will be provided with emergency shelter.
“Over 1 000 vulnerable families will receive non-food items and 2 500 women will be provided with dignity and reproductive health kits,” Parajuli said.
He said CERF will be implemented by the World Health Organisation and the Health ministry, which has strategically pre-positioned essential drugs, kits and personnel to contain any water-borne disease in all the affected areas.
“USAid/Zimbabwe partners adapted some of their drought responses activities to reach tens of thousands of Zimbabweans affected by flooding since February 2017, when the floods began. USAid has also re-allocated $300 000 of its Unicef drought response programming to provide water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for people most affected by the floods,” the UN resident coordinator said.
Other agencies that have responded to government’s plea are the Chinese government, which has donated $1, 06 million for emergency relief.
The United Kingdom’s department for International Development (DFID) re-directed $990 000 from drought response.
Several other development and humanitarian partners have committed additional resources, including the European Commission Humanitarian Office ($300 000) and the government of Japan ($50 000), in addition to in-kind contributions by Namibia.
The World Food Programme has also redirected food contributions from the drought response to flood-affected communities.