Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE United Nations (UN) has expressed satisfaction with progress made so far in bringing life back to normal in areas affected by Cyclone Idai.
The UN resident co-ordinator’s office, in liaison with the Government, organised a field visit to Chimanimani on Tuesday and yesterday for ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe that include Australia, Germany, India, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, and representatives of Embassies of Ireland and Japan.
The objective of the field mission was to assess the work of UN agencies and humanitarian partners in support of the national response to Cyclone Idai and to observe first-hand the challenges faced by affected communities.
The UN delegation led by UN resident co-ordinator, Mr Bishow Parajuli included Dr Alex Gasasira, WHO representative Dr Esther Muia, UNFPA representative Mr Robert Tibagwa, UNHCR representative; Mr Georges Van Montfort, UNDP resident representative Mr Mario Lito Malanca, IOM Chief of Mission Dr Amina Mohamed, Deputy UNICEF representative Mr Niels Balze and deputy WFP representative Mr David Mfote.
In a statement yesterday, Mr Parajuli said during the visit, the delegation observed that despite the lingering challenges, with the support provided, life has taken some form of normalcy in the affected areas.
“All students are in school while health and other public services are operational, communities are striving and road access has improved.
“Going forward, the delegation noted the need for continued assistance to the Cyclone Idai affected communities by ensuring adequate and timely response to the humanitarian flash appeal to bridge the resource gap, to do more on prevention of gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse as an integral part of the ongoing relief and recovery efforts to expedite recovery efforts,” said Mr Parajuli.
He said the recovery efforts include rehabilitation of damaged classrooms, health facilities, and urgent shelter support for families that are sharing rooms with other households.
Mr Parajuli said the efforts also include resettlement of those in temporary camps in line with international standards, putting the affected communities’ dignity and preference into consideration.
“The development and humanitarian partners reaffirmed their commitment for continued support to the ongoing relief and recovery efforts in partnership with Government, United Nations, private sector, and NGOs,” said Mr Parajuli.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Simon Masanga, accompanied the delegation throughout the field visit.
The delegation was received and briefed by Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, Manicaland Provincial Administrator, Mr Edgars Seenza, District Administrators and representatives of line ministries based in Mutare.
The delegation visited Aboretum Camp in Chimanimani where 280 people are being housed in family tents, Chimanimani Hospital, Ngangu Primary School as well as Chimanimani Hotel, which provided shelter for hundreds of villagers who were stranded during the cyclone.
In April, the UN and humanitarian community launched an appeal requesting for US$60 million to provide support to 270 000 people affected by Cyclone Idai.
The response as at May 27, 2019 stands at 45 percent or US$27 million.