Zimbabwe / United Nations / Statement by the Secretary-General on aid agency restrictions in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, August 14, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Recalling a decision by the Government of Zimbabwe in June 2008 to impose restrictions on field operations of private voluntary organizations and non-governmental organizations, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today made the following statement:
I am deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe where, despite requests made by the United Nations Country Team and other humanitarian partners, operations of voluntary and non-governmental organizations remain restricted. These groups have a vital role in the delivery of humanitarian aid, including much needed food assistance. Due to their inability to operate, only 280,000 people of the 1.5 million in need of food assistance are being reached with distributions.
This ban must be lifted immediately so that aid organizations can carry out their relief work and avert a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
I call on the Government of Zimbabwe to fully respect humanitarian principles and the impartiality and neutrality of voluntary and non-governmental organizations, allowing them to operate freely and with unrestricted access to those in need.
SOURCE : UNITED NATIONS