UN appeals for US$84,9m COVID-19 war chest for Zim

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UN appeals for US$84,9m COVID-19 war chest for Zim

THE United Nations and humanitarian partners on Thursday launched a global appeal for US$6,7 billion to fight coronavirus, with US$84,9 million earmarked for Zimbabwe. The Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) was launched in New York targeting vulnerable countries such as Benin, Djibouti, Liberia, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zimbabwe.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube

The appeal for US$84,9 million to respond to the coronavirus adds to the US$715 million appeal for the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) launched on April 2. “Th is additional appeal is part of the GHRP which will contribute to Zimbabwe’s national response on COVID-19, particularly addressing the most vulnerable, including children,
the elderly, women, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, refugees, migrants, and those aff ected by drought and food insecurity,” the UN resident co-ordinator in Zimbabwe Maria Ribeiro said.

The Citizens COVID-19 monitor, an initiative bringing together the business community, individuals and churches among other stakeholders in Bulawayo, applauded the move, saying Zimbabwe was incapacitated to fight the disease. “The country is effectively dead economically and can’t sustain a fight against COVID-19 on its own. In many ways, the government is stretched and does not have the required money to meet the expenses of an effective and efficient fight against COVID-19,” the communications of the Citizens COVID-19 monitor said.

A toxic combination of a weak economy and a collapsing health delivery system has been the country’s Achilles heel in fighting the global pandemic. Finance minister Mthuli Ncube admitted the situation in Zimbabwe was compounded by its failure to access funding, owing to legacy debts to international financial institutions. Recently, Ncube appealed to international financial lenders for debt relief, adding the country was headed for an economic and COVID-19 induced health catastrophe. Ncube’s letter to the International Monetary Fund dated April 28 was copied to the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and the chair of the Paris Club of sovereign creditors. Zimbabwe currently has 34 confirmed cases and four casualties from the near 10 000 COVID-19 tests conducted.Newsday

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