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Red Cross Responds to Crisis in Zimbabwe

As Zimbabweans suffer a food crisis and the worst cholera epi- demic in Africa in more than 15 years, the Australian Red Cross has launched the Zimbabwe Crisis Ap- peal 2009 to lend a hand.

The Situation

Seven million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid, according to the World Food Programme, as the food supply situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates significantly.

Fuelled by the country's econom- ic difficulties, the worst cholera epidemic in history has now killed more than 4,000 people, infecting more than 89,000 and spreading to 90 per cent of the country.

In addition, Zimbabwe is suffer- ing appallingly as a result of HIV and AIDS. The pandemic claims an estimated 2,300 lives every day. When a steady supply of nutritious food is hard to find, medical treat- ment can be jeopardised for people living with HIV.

What is Red Cross Doing?

Zimbabwe Red Cross is sup- porting some of the country's most vulnerable people, and is working closely with the global Red Cross movement to provide immediate

food aid, improve access to safe and adequate water and sanitation, and improve awareness on the spread of disease.

Longer term agricultural pro- grams are also underway, to pro- vide people a way of rebuilding livelihoods and producing their own food. We are monitoring and responding to the cholera epidemic helping to strengthen Zimbabwe Red Cross and sharing health infor- mation with communities. Seven special Red Cross emergency response units are tackling basic health needs and water and sanita- tion issues arising from the cholera epidemic.

What Can You Do?

We are supporting the interna- tional effort by launching an ap- peal. Donations to the Zimbabwe Crisis Appeal 2009 will be used by Red Cross to provide:

Emergency food and agricultural recovery items

Access to clean water

Hygiene and sanitation edu- cation for up to 1.5 million people

Special aid workers to assist the Red Cross response.

Women and their children queue to receive cholera kits in Harare, Zim- babwe, in the deadliest outbreak in Africa in 15 years. Photo: Reuters/ Philimon Bulawayo. (Photo from Australian Red Cross website)

The food supply situation in Zimba- bwe has deteriorated significantly in recent years.The country has been facing stern socio-economic decline since 2000, a vulnerability com- pounded by the aggravated impacts of climate change such as drought, low crop performance and limited irrigation. (Photo from International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Society website.)


Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent


See comprehensive information on the food and health crisis in Zimbabwe, including operations updates, photos and a diary from an Australian aid worker who travelled with Red Cross to parts of Zimbabwe badly affected by cholera at http://www.ifrc.org/what/ disasters/response/zimbabwe/index.asp.

the Drop - ADRP’s Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2009 / Page 11

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