More than 70 agencies, led by the U.N., launched a request on Monday for $378 million in aid, which will be used to improve health and food security, as well as water and sanitation, Reuters reports. Though Zimbabwe's power-sharing government has improved some "social conditions in the country," the agencies "say more needs to be done" (Banya, 12/7).
At the launch of the annual Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP), "U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg, said the money asked for is much less than the $719 million requested for ," VOA News writes. Bragg said, "The CAP 2010 already outlines lesser needs than any other CAP launched in Zimbabwe ... At a total of $378 million, almost 50 percent less than the year before."
"Despite improvement in food security, an estimated 1.9 million people will need food assistance at the peak of the 2010 hunger season between January and March," according to Bragg. She said cholera "re-emerged in October and the HIV prevalence rate is one of the highest, still, in the world, despite a recent drop to 13.7 percent." She also noted that 1.2 million people in the country are HIV-positive and more than a quarter of those require antiretroviral treatment.
"Millions of Zimbabweans still do not have access to safe drinking water. A third of children under five are malnourished and seven percent of these suffer from acute malnutrition," the news service reports. "Agriculture takes up almost a third of the sum requested, an indication Bragg said that the country is moving from humanitarian crisis to recovery" (Mafundikwa, 12/7).
In related news, the West Africa division of the U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs is placing the 2010 CAP appeal for the region at $368 million, according to a second VOA News article. "The money will go towards financing 129 projects, as diverse as child malnutrition in Sierra Leone and sanitation in flood-prone areas of Senegal" (Thomas, 12/7).
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.