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Jan-20-2009 15:13printcomments

Zimbabwe's Despair Continues

Cholera kills almost 2000-Concern Worldwide issues urgent appeal.

Zimbabwe Children
Zimbabwe Children

(NEW YORK) - The death toll in Zimbabwe from cholera has almost topped 2000, out of total of more than 37,000 confirmed cases, worsening the plight of nation hammered by hyper inflation, food shortages, and an HIV and AIDS epidemic that affects 15 percent of the population.

Already active in the country distributing food, building up livelihood opportunities and caring for people living with HIV and AIDS, Concern Worldwide, the international humanitarian organization, has begun an aggressive program of cholera prevention.

This will target more than 200,000 people in the districts of Chegutu, Nyanga, and North and South Gokwe.

Efforts include the distribution of 2000 hygiene kits, a hygiene campaign, as well as the repair of water and sewage systems and hand pumps in rural areas.

Concern is also overseeing the delivery of water-up to approx. 15,000 gallons of treated an tested water each day-to cholera treatment centers as well as private homes, as needed.

Announcing Concern's urgent appeal to the public for funds, Concern Worldwide CEO Tom Arnold, currently travelling in Zimbabwe, said that "the implosion of Zimbabwe can no longer be tolerated."

Describing scenes of "frantic desperation for food," Arnold noted that the World Food Program estimates that 5.1 million people need food aid.

Among the most vulnerable to cholera are those malnourished and people living with HIV and AIDS, he reports, adding that 400 people die each day in Zimbabwe from complications related to HIV and AIDS.

To end the country's political stalemate that stands in the way of long-term solutions to the country's crisis, Arnold called for "new and vigorous mediation efforts," especially on the part of the African Union and the South African Development Community, which promotes socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states.

To support the appeal, please send donations to:
Concern Worldwide US-Zimbabwe Appeal
104 E. 40th St., # 903
New York, NY 10016212 557 8000

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Citizen January 21, 2009 3:08 pm (Pacific time)

It is diabolical that the chaos and tyranny are allowed to continue by the International Community. It is so cruel that a whole nation is suffering indescribly. Why hasn't Mugabe and his junta not yet been brought to the Hague for trial and sentencing. The people in Zimbabwe need to be freed, fed and the infrastructure rebuilt. What is the matter with the United Nations? Can't they send in Engineers to help the overstretched charities? Until clean and safe water is available to everyone and proper sewerage repaired and or installed how can the cholera end or even be marginally controlled? The various food programmes from the Aid Agencies are only running for a few months. The millions that the Junta and Mugabe have stolen from the people should be confiscated and these monies used for aid for the people e.g. building homes that were bulldozed down by the government. Paying proper salaries to government workers. Fixing the drains, roads. water pipes and pumps, and power plants as well as public transport. Opening schools and hospitals again. Introducing proper currency and allowing imports of essential goods e.g. medicines and food, farming implements and fertilisers as well as good seed. Equipment repaired and renewed in the hospitals and elsewhere in government departments. Authorised and safe buses and trains to run. Until there is safe water and reticulation thereof and decent nutritious food readily available for all how can the people recover and pick themselves up? Where are the politicians in the world? Why are they not doing something positive for the people in Zimbabwe and removing the cause of the chaos - Mugabe and his hench men? Aid is not enough. The evil must be removed and brought to trial and suitably punished.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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