The UN and Zimbabwean authorities on Thursday launched an urgent appeal for $234 million for more than five million people in urgent need of food due to a drought and a weak economy.
The appeal came as UN Humanitarian Affairs chief Mark Lowcock visited the country this week to get a firsthand account of the situation.
The funds are to “provide urgent food, health, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection support for 2.2 million people of the 5.3 million people in need over the next six months,” the United Nations said in a statement, which amounts to about a third of the country’s population.
“In areas across the country, there are acute shortages of essential medicines, and rising food insecurity has heightened the risk of gender-based violence, particularly for women and girls,” it said.
A government document seen by AFP stated that around 7.5 million people in both rural and urban areas will require food aid between February 2019 and March 2010.
“I am releasing 10 million dollars today as a first contribution to the appeal,” Lowcock said during the official launch in Harare.