Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The 2019 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee consisting of government, UN development partners and NGOs has completed a rural livelihoods assessment, which estimates that 5.5 million people in that country are food insecure.  

"Of this population, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis points to over three million people – or 38% of the rural population – projected to be in need of urgent humanitarian support between the period October to December 2019," revealed Bishow Parajuli, outgoing UN Resident Coordinator to Zimbabwe.

He made the revelations on Friday in New York, where he updated member states on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and the status of the revised humanitarian appeal launched earlier in the month on 6 August. 

Parajuli said Zimbabwe was facing a multitude of humanitarian challenges as a result of climate factors such as the droughts and cyclone and economic shocks, which he described as "sadly, facing almost a perfect storm situation".  

He said the impact of 2018/19 drought combined with continuing macro-economic challenges and austerity measures implemented as a part of the necessary economic reform efforts have resulted in high-level of food insecurity and economic hardships among the most vulnerable.

"The revised appeal targets the multi-sectoral humanitarian needs of 3.7 million vulnerable people, out of the 5.1 million people, whom we have identified as in need of humanitarian assistance," said Parajuli.  

"The total funding requirement to address the humanitarian needs of these 3.7 million people by the international humanitarian community between the period July 2019 to April 2020 amounts to $331.5 million."

Among those in attendance at the meeting was UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Muller and Zimbabwe Minister of Local Government July Moyo.

African News Agency/ANA