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Sunday 18 December 2005
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ZIMBABWE: Pilot project provides shelter to cleanup victims

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


UNICEF has been providing displaced with water and sanitation services

JOHANNESBURG, 17 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - A pilot project has been set up by various international humanitarian agencies to provide shelter to Zimbabweans affected by the government's controversial urban cleanup campaign.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the project was being implemented by UN-HABITAT, in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Zimbabwean government.

Some 123 families were benefiting from shelter packages provided by the partners. "If the programme is successful, UNDP plans to reach 40,000 households countrywide, in conjunction with government allocation of plots for housing," Dujarric noted.

The World Food Programme had "redirected 1,450 mt of food from its ongoing efforts in the country to assist the victims of the housing evictions" while the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) was providing water, sanitation and education, and also helping to reunite displaced children with their families. The IOM has been providing tents.

UNICEF spokesman James Elder told IRIN the pilot project at Headlands, in Manicaland province on the Mozambique border, was "in a way a case of UN best practice, with all UN agencies [and the non-UN] IOM pushing in the same direction under difficult circumstances to help the people of Zimbabwe".

He added that "the main concern is the dislocation [of people] ... but one of the most interesting things that I've found from a recent UNICEF assessment of the impact on the population and children's schooling is that 90 percent of children affected remain in school".

This underlined the value Zimbabweans placed on education. "I think, obviously, they are under economic stress, but it's such a positive development, and a very clear example of their resolve and the sacrifices Zimbabweans are making to ensure their children continue in school," Elder said. "We want the international community to offer support to ensure that this positive culture does not disappear."

Dujarric noted that the planned humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe was still being finalised but in the meantime a number of UN agencies were providing food and various other services to people affected by the mass evictions.


 Theme(s) Children-Democracy-Education-Food Security-Health-Human Rights-Refugees IDPs-Other
Other recent ZIMBABWE reports:

Health budget fails to address brain drain,  16/Dec/05

Police raid independent radio station,  16/Dec/05

MDC factions unable to resolve differences,  15/Dec/05

Authorities return media owner's passport,  14/Dec/05

Operation Murambatsvina victims return to informal settlements,  14/Dec/05

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