Friday, September 19, 2014 Local time: 11:57

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UN Humanitarian Appeal for Zimbabwe Falling Far Short of Need

Economist James Wade says international donors have seen fit to channel funds to specific projects and target areas, but the underfunding has left some vulnerable communities at risk

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Tatenda Gumbo

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Zimbabwe has warned that developments in health, food security, and rising political violence could have a negative impact on the humanitarian situation in the country.

The report says the UN annual appeal to donors for around $415 million has only brought in a total of $54 million. At the moment, UN officials say new pledges total just $500,000.

Food shortages in many parts of Zimbabwe and a resurgence of cholera in some areas signal a continued need for humanitarian assistance.

In the OCHA monthly report, officials say the food security situation is alarming at a time when major donors are shifting focus from humanitarian to a transitional aid - the 2011 appeal is structured to provide funds for recovery projects as well as humanitarian aid.

Officials say various population segments have slipped back into humanitarian need since the agency adopted the transitional strategy in the country.

Economist James Wade says donors have seen fit to channel funds to specific projects and target areas, but the underfunding has left some vulnerable communities at risk.

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