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UN Humanitarian Agency Sees Bleak Outlook For Zimbabwe In 2007

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has launched an appeal to donors for US$215 million for humanitarian aid for Zimbabwe, saying the country’s already crippling economic crisis is likely to worsen in 2007.

The so-called consolidated appeal unites agencies like the United Nations Children’s Fund, U.N. Habitat, the World Food Program and the U.N. Development Program with non-U.N. organizations such as Zimbabwe’s National Association of Nongovernmental Organizations, the Danhiko Project, Oxfam-UK and Childline.

The U.N. office said the funds would go to mitigate effects of the declining economy on the availability and quality of basic services for the country's most vulnerable people.

The agency detailed a grim list of problems looming in Zimbabwe: increasingly scarce inputs for agriculture, significant food shortages, vulnerable populations on the move, and “continued impact of contentious human rights and governance issues and reduced resources for humanitarian programming.”

Advocacy and Communications Manager Fambayi Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Nango members need funds in particular to monitor the distribution of humanitarian aid in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...