Tearfund raises over £500,000 for Zimbabwe

Tearfund's summer appeal has raised over half a million pounds to help impoverished Zimbabweans.

The Christian aid agency warned that although the country had seen some early signs of economic recovery, many Zimbabweans are still struggling without enough food to eat and even basic services.

The money raised will go towards the organisation's relief and longer-term recovery programmes in the country.

"We are incredibly grateful for this committed support," said Ann Foley, Tearfund International Regions Director.

"In these tough economic times it comes with a greater significance when we see people’s response to continuing need in Zimbabwe, and especially so when the story there isn’t in the news as often.

"This summer we have seen an unprecedented number of major disasters, all of which present urgent needs and the opportunity to respond. So we want to say a big thank you to individuals and churches that continue to give so generously."

Tearfund said the power-sharing Government of Unity formed last year had returned some stability to the nation that has been blighted in recent years by hyperinflation and high unemployment.

It said the focus of its work was moving from relief to recovery "although significant problems remain around basic utilities".

Bulawayo has been hit by critical water shortages in the wake of a drought, with the the volume of water in the main supply dams amounting to only half the average level.

There are fears that Bulawayo will be hit by chronic water shortages in the coming months and that people may turn to unsafe water supplies, leading to a proliferation of water-borne diseases.

Tearfund is supporting a water conservation awareness project to help reduce the risks around water usage.

In communities in Lupane Gomoza, a district of the Matabeleland, Tearfund is running a project to heal the wounds left by ethnic and political conflict and to restore social networks through healing the wounds of ethnic and political conflict.

Its partners are running a series of workshops based on the biblical principles of forgiveness and reconciliation. Cattle are being distributed in a bid to rebuild livelihoods and encourage working together.

Donations raised by the summer appeal will also help fund Tearfund's work regenerating Bulawayo prison farm to provide vital food for inmates it said "would all but starve in their inhumane conditions".

Tearfund’s long-term commitment to ZOE (Zimbabwe Orphans through Extended hands) will ensure continuing care for some 60,000 orphaned and vulnerable children in Bulawayo and other towns and rural villages in Zimbabwe.

Other programmes funded by the appeal include HIV work and advocacy through churches and civil society organisations.

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