Annan appeals for more humanitarian assistance to southern Africa

14 November 2002

Appealing to the international community for more assistance to address the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa, especially in Zimbabwe, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, said today that he was concerned about the deteriorating situation of almost 7 million people in that country who are in need of food aid.

He noted reports of politicization in food distribution and humanitarian assistance and expressed full support for the zero-tolerance policy established by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) with respect to food distribution.

"Those distributing aid have an obligation to ensure that it is given to beneficiaries based on their needs and not upon political affiliation," the Secretary General said in a statement issued by a UN spokesman.

Mr. Annan also appealed to the Government of Zimbabwe to fulfil its commitment to ensure that political considerations do not affect food aid efforts within the country.


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