Mnangagwa Says UN Will Help Him
4 April 2024
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The recent declaration of a nationwide State of Disaster by President Mnangagwa, prompted by the harsh effects of an El Nino-induced drought in Zimbabwe, marks a critical juncture for the nation and the broader Southern African region. This distressing situation has compelled the international community, led by the United Nations, to rally in support, with a promise to mobilize over US$2 billion needed to mitigate the drought’s dire consequences.

The prompt response from the United Nations, under the guidance of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon, signifies a beacon of hope not just for Zimbabwe but for international collaboration against natural disasters. Kallon’s commitment underscores the urgency and the breadth of the crisis, which stretches across vital sectors including food security, health, education, and shelter. The crisis’s multifaceted nature requires a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to address both immediate needs and long-term impacts.

This massive mobilization effort is not just about providing immediate relief but is also a strategic move to build resilience against future climatic shocks. The emphasis on enhancing resilience-building and climate adaptation efforts speaks volumes about the changing approach to disaster management—from reactive measures to proactive, anticipatory planning and actions. This shift is critical in a world where extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change.

The allocation of US$5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (UNCERF) by the UN is a testament to the international community’s readiness to support Zimbabwe in these trying times. This funding, aimed at critical sectors such as water, hygiene, sanitation, health, and agriculture, is just the beginning of a robust response plan that seeks to safeguard human health and security, ensure access to education, and protect livelihoods.

The solidarity and swift action demonstrated by the UN and its partners reflect a shared understanding of the urgent need to address not only the symptoms of such crises but their root causes as well. By focusing on resilience-building and early action, the global community is taking a step in the right direction, acknowledging the importance of preparedness and the need to strengthen communities’ capacities to withstand and recover from future shocks.

In the face of adversity, the pledge from the United Nations offers more than just financial assistance—it represents a commitment to partnership, resilience, and hope for the people of Zimbabwe. As efforts to finalize a comprehensive response plan are underway, there is a clear message that through collective action and international solidarity, it is possible to overcome even the most daunting challenges.- Agencies