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UNICEF Seeks $26.8M Appeal to Combat El Niño Drought Crisis in Zimbabwe

UNICEF is urgently seeking $26.8 million to confront the devastating impact of an El Niño-triggered drought in Zimbabwe.

The objective is to combat water scarcity, food insecurity, malnutrition, potential flooding, and epidemics.

Focusing on the most vulnerable regions, UNICEF aims to aid around two million children facing risks of preventable diseases and malnutrition.

The 2024 Humanitarian Action for Children report underscores that approximately 45 million children in eastern and southern Africa are highly vulnerable to diseases and malnutrition linked to climate change.

UNICEF appeals to donors and partners to contribute to its crucial response efforts, aiming to mitigate the lasting effects of the El Niño-induced drought on vulnerable communities.

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UNICEF emphasized the urgent need for $26.8 million to address the consequences of an El Niño-induced drought, which are anticipated to include water scarcity, food insecurity, and nutrition crises.

The appeal also acknowledges potential flooding risks as the 2023/24 rainfall season progresses, along with the threat of epidemics and diarrheal diseases, such as the ongoing cholera outbreak.

Furthermore, UNICEF aims to address the protection needs of children who may be displaced due to a potential surge of returnees from South Africa once exemption permits expire.

In addition to immediate relief efforts, UNICEF plans to utilize the funds to enhance community resilience against future droughts and other climate-related disasters.

This strategy involves investing in infrastructure such as water storage systems and irrigation equipment, as well as providing training and capacity-building for local communities to improve emergency preparedness and response.

A $15 million program will be introduced to address the nutrition crisis, food insecurity, and water and sanitation challenges in vulnerable communities.

Out of the total appeal, $5 million is earmarked to combat the ongoing nutrition crisis exacerbated by food insecurity.

An additional $4 million will support 3,000 households with six months of payments and provide a one-time payment of $100 to 18,600 households in food-insecure districts. This assistance aims to help them better prepare for and respond to the impending drought caused by El Niño.

Approximately $6 million will be allocated to address the water and sanitation crisis, with the primary goal of containing the cholera outbreak and preventing further outbreaks of diarrheal diseases.

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