UN reviews aid appeals

united_nationsHARARE The United Nations will next week launch a mid-year review of humanitarian appeals for countries in distress amid revelations that only a third of Zimbabwes consolidated appeal for 2010 has been met by donors.

The UNs Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the review, which takes place on July 14 at the world bodys New York headquarters was part of a process in which humanitarian aid organisations working in protracted humanitarian crises come together to revise their response plans in support of affected countries relief programmes. The review also serves to highlight remaining priorities in countries and regions with a consolidated appeal and aims to promote accountability and resource mobilisation, said OCHA.

Zimbabwes 2010 humanitarian appeal has received few takers, with US$162 million or just 34 percent of the US$478 million asked for so far funded by donors. The lukewarm support prompted the UN humanitarian wing to issue a passionate plea for assistance in March, urging vigilance among the donor community to avoid a relapse of Zimbabwes situation to the problems triggered by the decade-long collapse of the countrys social services.

Zimbabwe has been plagued by widespread humanitarian suffering in recent years, driven in part by long-running political strife.

When the appeal was launched in December 2009, some six million people in the country did not have access to safe water and sanitation due to the erosion of basic services. Livelihoods were also threatened by a prolonged economic downturn. The humanitarian crisis has since worsened, with outbreaks of measles, cholera and typhoid reported in parts of the country.

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