Zimbabwe Cholera Crisis Still Grave: UN Official

by VR Sreeraman on  February 26, 2009 at 11:39 AM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
A top UN humanitarian official warned Wednesday that Zimbabwe still faces a grave crisis, with major challenges in averting hunger and stopping a cholera epidemic that has killed 3,800 people.
 Zimbabwe Cholera Crisis Still Grave: UN Official
Zimbabwe Cholera Crisis Still Grave: UN Official

Catherine Bragg, assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, said that many parts of Zimbabwe have yet to receive any help in fighting cholera, which has hit more than 83,000 people since August.

"The humanitarian situation remains grave. Despite efforts to control cholera, there are many places which are yet to be visited," she told reporters at the end of a five-day mission.

She also said that the country faces serious threats from hunger, after the UN's World Food Programme reported last month that the number of people without food was estimated at 6.9 million, more than half the population.

"We continue to see serious challenges. We need to scale up our actions," she said.

"Donors have been generous to the humanitarian issues. Of the 500 million (dollars) requested, 70 percent of the funding requirements have been met," she added.

Bragg met with both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, long-time rivals who formed a unity government nearly weeks ago under intense regional pressure.

Her team was set to leave Harare later Wednesday for Johannesburg, where they were expected to brief visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on their findings.

Source: AFP

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