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Media digest
Karen Proudlock, Research Associate, ODI
May 2007

Prepared for Roundtable discussion: Re-thinking aid policy in response to Zimbabwe's protracted crisis

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1. Introduction

This report was commissioned by the Overseas Development Institute as a contribution to a
Roundtable discussion on Zimbabwe to be held at the Overseas Development Institute in June 2007.

It summarises media coverage of Zimbabwe from February to May 2007. The report is divided into
sections based on selected themes including: Inflation and foreign exchange rates; Social unrest and insecurity; Agricultural and land reform policies; Political opposition; The future of Mugabe and ZANUPF; Donors and the International Community; Role of Civil Society; Labour markets and unemployment; Migration and remittances; Access to key services (health and education); HIV infection rates and life expectancy. References are provided as footnotes indicating the title, publication and date of web access (where applicable) (see Appendix I for list of sources). This media digest is based on uncorroborated media reporting and neither the author nor the
Overseas Development Institute can be held responsible for any inaccuracies or bias in these media sources.

1.1 Overview

Zimbabwe is currently in the grip of interrelated political, economic, and social crises, which are taking a terrible toll on the country's people. Consecutive years of economic decline have resulted in periodic shortages of food, fuel, electricity, medical supplies and other basic survival commodities. Inflation has risen to over 2000% and unemployment is touching 80%. Once robust social services are decaying, exacerbated by the AIDS epidemic and a considerable 'brain drain' of skilled personnel. Hunger is spreading and life expectancy has dropped to roughly 35 years.

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