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HARARE, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF) on Wednesday handed over 1.6 million U.S. dollars to assist over 32,000 people who were affected by floods in Zimbabwe this year.
The funding will assist the flood victims with life-saving shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene and protection in 20 districts in the country, said United Nations Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli at the handover ceremony.
"The CERF fund is a critical resource that guarantees life-saving interventions in support of affected communities and I believe it will help meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable particularly those who are still living in temporary camps in the southern parts of Zimbabwe," Parajuli said.
The CERF will be implemented by UNICEF, IOM and UNFPA together with Zimbabwean government ministries, local authorities and non-governmental organizations.
Parajuli said the fund will provide life-saving interventions to over 23,800 people with water, sanitation and hygiene, over 12,500 pupils with emergency education materials while over 2,600 households will be provided with emergency shelter.
Over 1,000 vulnerable families will receive non-food items and 2,500 women will be provided with dignity and reproductive health kits, said the UN resident coordinator.
The support, Parajuli said, will be complemented with the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health and Child Care health program which has strategically pre-positioned essential drugs, kits and personnel to contain any water- borne disease in all provinces, including in the affected areas.
Receiving the donation, Zimbabwean local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere thanked the UN for the assistance which he said was a true testimony of the UN's commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on March 2 declared a State of Flood Disaster, leading to the launching of a domestic and international appeal for nearly 189 million dollars to address the immediate, medium and long term impact of the flood disaster.
In March, the Chinese government donated 1 million U.S. dollars in cash transfer to help the flood victims.
The United Nations and partners, in close consultation with the government estimate that out of the total 189 million dollars, over 20 million dollars is needed for immediate emergency humanitarian response.
The Zimbabwe government has since committed 35 million dollars from the Treasury for the emergency, the majority of which has been assigned to infrastructure development as many parts of the country remain cut off due to damaged roads and collapsed bridges.
Noting the large gap on resources in rebuilding roads and bridges damaged by flooding, the UN Resident Coordinator appealed to friends of Zimbabwe for more support in the ongoing rehabilitation efforts.