UN Steps Up Aid to Children Evicted in Zimbabwe Clearance Campaign

UN News Service (New York)

June 24, 2005
Posted to the web June 24, 2005

The United Nations children's agency issued an urgent appeal today for nearly $3 million as it steps up its support to tens of thousands of children evicted from their homes in Zimbabwe during the Government's drive to clean up cities.

"Many children are now without shelter during winter, others have been separated from their parents and caregivers, schooling has been widely disrupted, access to water is difficult, and respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases are a real threat," said Dr. Festo Kavishe, representative of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe.

Operations Restore Order and Murambatsvina began four weeks ago in what the government called an effort, to clean up cities and fight the black market across Zimbabwe. As a result, tens of thousands of homes and market stalls have been destroyed.

UNICEF has established access to most clean-up sites across the country and, with various ministries and a range of Non-Governmental Organizations, is distributing aid to affected children and women, in the form of water and sanitation equipment, health supplies, blankets and plastic sheeting and other support.

The agency is seeking more than $2.7 million to continue all existing activities and expand health care aid, deliver urgently needed non-food items, provide HIV prevention and care, and place social workers in key areas.