by NORMA TSOPO
ZIMBABWE urgently needs US$84.9 million to support its National Covid-19 response for the immediate public health crisis and knock-on impacts of the global pandemic on vulnerable people.
This is in addition to US$715 million appeal for the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) launched on April 2.
The figure is part of a US$6.7 billion appeal that was launched on May 7 by the United Nations and partners in an updated Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) in New York to protect millions of lives and stem the spread of coronavirus in fragile countries.
Launching the updated GHRP, UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock called for swift and determined action to avoid the most destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The revised GHRP includes nine additional vulnerable countries: Benin, Djibouti, Liberia, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zimbabwe, and programmes to respond to the growth in food insecurity.
UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe Maria Ribeiro said, “this additional appeal is part of the GHRP which will contribute to Zimbabwe’s national response on COVID-19, particularly addressing the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, women, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, refugees, migrants, and those affected by drought and food insecurity.”
The COVID-19 addendum to the HRP seeks to mobilize emergency funding for UN agencies and NGOs to provide support to public health emergency response to contain the spread of the COVID-19, through health programming, risk communication and community engagement, infection control and prevention, and provision of water supply and increased hygiene and sanitation intervention.
Expressing her appreciation for the strong partnership with Government, donors, development and humanitarian partners, Ribeiro called on all humanitarian and development partners to redouble efforts to ensure timely and adequate response in order to mitigate the triple crisis of socio-economic challenge, drought and COVID 19 in Zimbabwe.