by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – HUMANITARIAN organisations have scaled up operations in Zimbabwe after a spike in sexual and gender-based violence incidents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) induced lockdown and socio-economic problems.
There is also concern the COVID-19 will affect people with disabilities more significantly in the impoverished country.
Several humanitarian organisations, led by the United Nations (UN) have upped their interventions.
Under the Spotlight Initiative, the organisations are working to eliminate violence against women and girls.
They have pledged to continue providing essential services to survivors of gender based violence during the national lockdown.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has in partnership with key disability sector stakeholders, offered a dedicated platform to popular disability advocates to promote the voices of persons with disabilities.
The developments come as Zimbabwe currently facing multiple hazards, including widespread economic shocks, recurrent drought, food insecurity, recovery from the Cyclone Idai, risk of outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.
COVID-19 is the latest setback. It has claimed four lives from 44 confirmed cases.
“The current pandemic highlights more than ever the need for joint effort in achieving our sustainable development goals through funds such as the Health Development Fund and other key organisations,” Timo Olkkonen, European Union Ambassador, said.
Meanwhile, the UN will expand urban social assistance programme to reach 124 000 new beneficiaries with food in the coming weeks.
The World Food Programme anticipates reaching a total of 224 000 beneficiaries in the Southern African country.
– CAJ News