US$1m boost for Zim’s COVID-19 interventions

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Zimbabwe’s interventions against the COVID-19 pandemic will be further boosted by a US$1 million grant from the Japanese government
Zimbabwe’s interventions against the COVID-19 pandemic will be further boosted by a US$1 million grant from the Japanese government

Davison Kaiyo

Zimbabwe’s response to COVID-19 pandemic has received a US$1 million boost from the Japanese government through responsive and preventive care interventions to vulnerable children and women.

The intervention will cover multiple sectors including health, nutrition, HIV and Aids, gender-based violence and child protection and education.

The funds will provide additional support to UNICEF Zimbabwe programs and will see the project being implemented in 32 districts across the country which are hotspots for drought, flooding, HIV and Aids, malaria, cholera and other diarrheal diseases as well as COVID-19.

In statement, UNICEF acting country representative Amina Mohammed expressed their gratitude for the continued support from the Japanese government for their ongoing commitment to the children, adolescents and women of Zimbabwe.

“We must continue to offer basic social services, particularly preventative care to vulnerable children and women as we join the world in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. We must ensure that children, adolescents and women continue to receive quality nutrition, HIV/AIDS support, inclusive of education and child protection services, despite challenges we have seen from the pandemic,” she said.

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Satoshi Tanaka said the support seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable children and women whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to adequate nutrition, healthcare and education and communities will be more resilient in the future.

Through nutrition interventions, 200,000 children aged 6-59 months will be screened for acute malnutrition for early identification and referral for treatment.

In addition, it is estimated that 30,000 mothers and caregivers of children below the age of two will receive support and treatment for babies suffering from malnutrition, as well as COVID-19 related nutrition counselling and training on the preparation of safe and healthy food.

The HIV and Aids interventions will provide mentorship to 1,200 health workers in the affected health facilities to build their capacity in HIV/Sexual and Reproductive Health, as well as malnutrition prevention, care, treatment and support.

Treatment and referral services will be provided for 2,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women to ensure continuation of prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

In the education sector, alternative home learning materials will be provided to nearly 13,000 vulnerable learners in one drought-affected district as part of preparedness, amongst other interventions.

The partnership extends for 12 months starting in March 2021 and aims to uphold UNICEF’s humanitarian response to Sustaining Resilience of Multi-hazard-affected Communities through a comprehensive set of lifesaving interventions.

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