The Elders begin Zimbabwe Assessment Mission

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Thursday, 20 November, 2008

Elders Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Graça Machel will arrive in Southern Africa on Friday to make a first-hand assessment of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.


Former United States President Jimmy Carter and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan are arriving in Southern Africa on Friday to make a first hand assessment of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.

They will be joined in this assessment by fellow Elder and international advocate for women's and children's rights, Mrs Graça Machel.

Mr Annan said: "The Elders are deeply concerned about the impact of the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe on the population. The purpose of our visit is to meet those working on the ground to better assess the extent of the crisis and how assistance can be improved.

"Food shortages, a lack of seed and fertiliser for planting and the breakdown in health services are all having a serious effect on the people. We understand that the situation requires an urgent response and that delays will only prolong the people's suffering.

"We have sought meetings with political leaders in Zimbabwe and would be pleased to hear their views. As we said earlier, we have no intention of becoming involved in the ongoing political negotiations in Zimbabwe. My colleagues and I look forward to our visit."

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