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welcomes planned elders visit
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe (NANGO)
November 21, 2008
The National Association of Non Governmental Organisations
representing NGOs operating in Zimbabwe, welcomes the planned visit
by members of the group of Elders - international advocate for women
and children's rights - and wife of Nelson Mandela - Graca
Machel, former United Nationals Secretary-General Kofi Annan and
former United States President Jimmy Carter to Zimbabwe.
that the visit is in order to give the Elders an opportunity to
make a first hand assessment of the humanitarian situation and how
to more effectively respond to current humanitarian needs. Zimbabwe
needs as much help as it can get in order to effectively meet the
overwhelming levels of need throughout the country, as such NANGO
roundly applauds the Elders expressed commitment to urge "the
International community to support a Zimbabwe-led process of recovery
and provide sufficient funding for its implementation
The Elders visit
to Zimbabwe coincides with what is widely regarded as Zimbabwe's
worst ever humanitarian crisis in post-independent history, whereby
more than half of the population has been rendered food insecure
and therefore in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The daily
struggle of the ordinary Zimbabwean for survival has become unbearable.
The lives of millions of Zimbabweans are under realistic threat
facing serious food and water shortages, a breakdown in the health
delivery system - proven by the close down of hospitals -
and a spreading Cholera outbreak.
NANGO is deeply
concerned about information protracted by the state-run newspaper
The Herald stating that the Government advised the Elders to postpone
their visit. Allegedly the Government argues that it is currently
too occupied with the ongoing Inter-Party Talks and preparations
for the cropping season. In light of this, NANGO hereby urges the
relevant authorities to render the appropriate assistance and information
as would enable the Elders to carry out their mission of rallying
international support to support a Zimbabwe led process of recovery.
that an imminent visit by the group of Elders is crucial: The high
profile visit of the Elders would ensure that the world is reminded
of the plight of the vast majority of Zimbabweans. The country would
receive decisive assistance in solving the humanitarian crisis.
the importance of the Elders visit is the reality of dwindling levels
of humanitarian assistance amidst a huge sea of need - A condition
which the Elders is well positioned to reverse. The World Food Programme
realistically estimates that 5 million Zimbabweans will need emergency
food aid by early next year. But since global attention to the escalating
Zimbabwean crisis has slipped away the WFP is struggling to receive
enough funding to assist Zimbabweans in their survival-struggle.
An imminent Elders visit will ensure that the international spotlight
is switched on again on Zimbabwe. Therefore NANGO is convinced that
the Elders visit is in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean
leaders should not only ensure that the Elders are welcome this
weekend but that they are also assisted in every way in making their
crucial first-hand assessment. NANGO will likewise contribute to
this assessment by presenting a Dossier detailing the dimensions
of the currently negative operating environment for humanitarian
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