June 16, 2008
The Zimbabwean government's recent decision to suspend the work of humanitarian aid groups has resulted in "500,000 children no longer receiving health care, treatment for HIV/AIDS, aid toward education, and the food that they need," UNICEF spokesperson Veronique Taveau said Friday. "Many of these children are orphans," she noted. Per Engebak, UNICEF's regional director for east and southern Africa, said the "level of suffering for these children in rising daily." President Robert Mugabe's administration suspended the work of non-governmental groups earlier this month, alleging that some of them were openly supporting the opposition party. UNICEF called on the government to initiate a "complete and immediate resumption of programs that are crucial for the country's children."