- Humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating and will continue to worsen into next year, according to top United Nations humanitarian official, further calling for urgent aid to avert increased human suffering in southern African nation.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes has said that an estimated 3.8 million people would be classed as food insecure between now and end of year. During the peak of the hunger season, between January and March 2009, nearly half of the population of 12 million is estimated to be going to require food assistance, he said.
Mr Holmes, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said there is a large resource gap and aid is needed now. He further mentioned that although several months of humanitarian service delivery were lost, there is still time to avert increased human suffering.
In the run-up to June presidential run-off, Zimbabwe suspended all field operations by non-governmental organisations and private voluntary organisations under guise that such groups were supporting opposition.
Since humanitarian ban was lifted over a month ago, NGOs and UN agencies have been re-establishing operations to provide life-saving assistance.
Depicting areas of priority concern, Mr Holmes said that current challenges include critical shortages of all basic services, including food, clean water, and health services.
Critically under-funded sectors of current UN appeal for Zimbabwe include emergency agriculture and education, while funding in health, water and sanitation also remains low, according to UN.
Zimbabwean leaders have recently signed a power-sharing deal, but a new rock has yet blocked process in formation of a new unity government, with ruling ZANU-PF and opposition MDC not seeming to come to agreement of takes what share of cabinet portfolios.
Opposition has accused Mr Mugabe and his ruling party of wanting to take all powerful ministries while leaving them a larger portion of non-influencial portfolios.
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