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Help to Feed Zimbabwe's Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 2020

Patricia Tshabalala, the social worker who runs the Vulindlela Guardians centre in Bulawayo, recently reached out to us to ask for help to feed the children who visit the centre. Since COVID-19 halted the economy, and prevented the children from going to school, many of them are going days without a single meal. Pressure is on households to provide food for children. But many have lost their income and have none to give, so more children are arriving at the Vulindlela Centre daily, asking for food. We have been providing e’Pap porridge 3x a week since 2016 but this is no longer sufficient, and resources are running low. With lockdown measures in place, it is difficult for children to even travel to the centre.

Vulindlela Guardians is now working with partners in Bulawayo to deliver monthly food rations and PPE to the 184 children in our care. For £13 a month, Vulindlela Guardians can provide a child with 10kg of mealie meal, 2 cabbages, 2 kg of dry beans, 1 litre of cooking oil, 1 piece of soap and 20 servings of e’Pap nutritional porridge. We need to raise £7,200 to help to feed the 184 children in our care for the next 3 months. For £40, you can save a child from going hungry over the winter months. Every little helps so please consider giving generously on our JustGiving page.

Zimbabwe was already facing multiple humanitarian crises. Before COVID-19, Zimbabwe suffered widespread economic shocks, severe food insecurity, risk of cholera, typhoid and HIV/AIDS, and was recovering from cyclone Idai. Now, COVID-19 has made the situation worse.

A recent UN OCHA report found that 95,000 children under age 5 in Zimbabwe are suffering from acute malnutrition, and cases could rise by up to 50% after the disruption of services due to COVID-19. Over one quarter of Zimbabwean children are stunted, with only 4% of children receiving a minimum acceptable diet. UN OCHA reported that COVID-19 has impeded screening and treatment services, with much fewer children receiving help.

To read the full report, see: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Situation%20Report%20-%20Zimbabwe%20-%2011%20Jun%202020.pdf 

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Patricia hands out PPE to the children