ALARMED BY DESPERATE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE, SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES REGRET AT DECISION NOT TO COOPERATE WITH ELDERS’ ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE

25 November 2008
SG/SM/11952-AFR/1781-IHA/1271

ALARMED BY DESPERATE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE, SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES REGRET AT DECISION NOT TO COOPERATE WITH ELDERS’ ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE

25 November 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11952 AFR/1781 IHA/1271
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

ALARMED BY DESPERATE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE, SECRETARY-GENERAL VOICES

REGRET AT DECISION NOT TO COOPERATE WITH ELDERS’ ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is alarmed that the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is now desperate and will worsen in the coming months.  He is deeply concerned that nearly half of the total population of 12 million could require food assistance, and by reports that many households are now cutting back the number of meals eaten each day.  He is distressed at the collapse of health, sanitation and education services, and the consequent rapidly escalating cholera outbreak.  The Secretary-General urges all parties to support and provide humanitarian assistance, leaving political considerations aside. 

The Secretary-General supports the humanitarian initiative on Zimbabwe offered by The Elders and regrets the decision of the Government of Zimbabwe not to cooperate with their timely, well-intended effort to assist the people of Zimbabwe.  The Secretary-General hopes that another mission can take place in the near future, given the rapidly deteriorating situation in the country.

The Secretary-General calls on the Zimbabwean parties meeting in South Africa today to rapidly reach an agreement on the formation of a new Government consistent with the letter and spirit of the 15 September agreement.  The people of Zimbabwe cannot afford another failure by their political leadership to reach a fair and workable agreement that would allow Zimbabwe to tackle the formidable challenges ahead.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.