HARARE, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe on Monday met Catherine Bragg, UN assistant secretary-general for
humanitarian affairs, at the State House in Harare.
Bragg, who headed a UN team which also includes
representativesfrom the World Health Organization, World Food Program and the
United Nations Children's Fund, was on a five-day trip in Zimbabwe to understand
the situation of this southern African country.
Senior United Nations officials arrived in Harare on
Saturday. They were preparing for a series of meetings with Zimbabwe's political
leaders and UN colleagues dealing with the cholera epidemic and food shortages.
The five-strong delegation will also meet Prime
Minister MorganTsvangirai during their five-day visit, delegation spokesman John
Nyaga said. "The aim of the mission is to understand the reality of the
situation in Zimbabwe," he added.
The high-level UN team will find ways of dealing with
the country's growing health and food crisis.
This followed a meeting between President Mugabe and
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the African Union summit held recently
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The UN delegation flew in late on Saturday.
According to figures released on Saturday by the WHO
and Zimbabwe's health ministry, the latest death toll from the cholera epidemic
was 3,806, with more than 81,000 cases reported.
At the same time, more than half the country's 12
million population need emergency food aid, according to UN figures.
Zimbabwe is also battling the effects of an economic
crunch stemming from illegal economic sanctions imposed by the West.
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, chairman
of the Southern African Development Community, has convened the bloc's finance
ministers conference this week to devise a plan to help Zimbabwe out of the
Last Friday, Tsvangirai said during a visit to South
Africa that reconstructing Zimbabwe could cost as much as 5 billion U.S.