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Oxfam Intensifies Work In Zimbabwe

Published: Fri 16 Aug 2002 03:34 PM
16 Aug. 02
Oxfam Intensifies Work In Zimbabwe
"This is undoubtedly the most serious humanitarian crisis taking place in the world today"
(World Food Programme)
Oxfam New Zealand has today welcomed Helen Clark's announcement of an increase in aid to avert the food crisis currently threatening Zimbabwe and announced that it is intensifying its work in several areas of Southern Africa.
Oxfam's Southern Africa aid is aimed at helping to avert the looming famine which is threatening the livelihoods of 12.8 million people. In Zimbabwe a pilot food distribution system has been set up and it is expected to benefit more than 110,000 people.
According to Oxfam the crisis in Zimbabwe is more acute and on a larger scale than in other countries in the region. Due to years of drought many parts of Southern Africa have been dependant on commercial crops from Zimbabwe and now commercial farm workers are being displaced by political turmoil under Mugabe's government. This leaves fewer coping strategies for Southern Africa's vulnerable people who have been forced to eat unripe crops for survival.
To ensure that foreign aid generates sustainable development and not just band aids, Oxfam's work throughout Southern Africa is providing much needed public health support (high rate of HIV/AIDS deaths is further debilitating Southern Africa’s family and agricultural structures), farming tools, fish farming in community dams, as well as support to community collective gardens.
Oxfam's Zimbabwe operations are currently underway in Zvishavane, Shurugwi and Chirumanzu. Oxfam is also considering extending plans for food distribution to Kweke and Gweru, both in Masvingo Province.
Southern Africa Food Deficit Appeal
For donations please call 0800 700 600 or visit www.oxfam.org.nz
For more information about Oxfam's work in Southern Africa, photos, or to arrange an interview with any of our field officers in Zimbabwe or other parts of Southern Africa contact Federico Monsalve on (09) 355 6500 or (025) 366 205. More information on Southern Africa available on www.oxfam.org.nz/press.htm

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