3.5 million Vulnerable Children Face Starvation-UNICEF

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTATS) Zimbabwe has  over 7 million people who can be described as children and over 3.5 million of these live  under what the  Food Poverty Line (FPL).

“It is a statistical fact that 60% of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) are under the care of the elderly but the government has not done enough to alleviate the plight of these people. We have put in place a program that seeks to help over 55 000 of the 300 000 families that are believed to live under the Food Poverty Line in Zimbabwe.

“This programme is also targeting about 25 000 individual children to benefit from cash transfers. UNICEF has a budget of US$73 million for this programme and we have already received US$46 million in pledges from donors while the Zimbabwean government has set aside about US$16 million,” UNICEF Child Protection specialist Elayn Sammon confirmed Monday.

According to the Ministry of Social Welfare only 540 elderly households throughout the country are receiving cash transfers from the government.
Most vulnerable children are being taken care of by the aged after losing their parents to HIV and AIDS, and failure by government to provide for the elderly results in the starvation of the minors.

In an effort to try and counter starvation facing the vulnerable children government said it will soon increase the number of households receiving cash transfers from February.

Under the new program at least 300 000 economically disadvantaged families will receive monthly grants of between US$10 and US$25 from the Government.