MEDIA ADVISORY | Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock to Visit Zimbabwe

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock to Visit Zimbabwe

WHO: Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

WHAT: Mission to Zimbabwe

WHEN: 27 February - 1 March

WHERE: Harare, Zimbabwe 

25 February 2019, Harare – The United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock will visit Zimbabwe from 27 February – 1 March to see the current humanitarian situation in the country. This visit will mark Mr. Lowcock’s first visit to Southern Africa as Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

During his visit, Mr. Lowcock will meet with senior Government officials, the diplomatic community, humanitarian organizations and members of civil society. Mr. Lowcock is also expected to meet with people in Epworth and Mudzi district, who have been affected the most by increasing food insecurity. Zimbabwe is facing rising humanitarian needs as a result of erratic rains and the economic challenges, with 5.3 million people estimated to be in urgent need of assistance.

Mr. Lowcock will also launch, with the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli, on behalf of the Humanitarian Country Team, the 2019 Zimbabwe Flash Appeal on 28 February 2019 in Harare. The Flash Appeal call on the international community to further contribute to the aid organizations’ efforts to save lives in response to Zimbabwe’s economic challenges and deteriorating humanitarian situations.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:

28 February, from 5 to 6 pm, at Meikles Hotel

  • Launch of the Humanitarian Flash Appeal. Donors will announce contributions to the humanitarian operation in Zimbabwe.

01 March, from 12 to 12:30 pm, at Meikles Hotel

  • Press conference, with final remarks about the mission by Mr. Lowcock.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

Saviano Abreu, Public Information Officer, UNOCHA, Mob: +263 774 805 845, WhatsApp: +34 628 498 279, deabreuisidoro@un.org

Sirak Gebrehiwot, UN Communications Specialist, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Mob# and WhatsApp: +263 772 198 036, sirak.gebrehiwot@one.un.org

Background

Mr Mark Lowcock Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Mr. Mark Lowcock began the role of OCHA's USG/ERC on 1 September 2017. Mr. Mark Lowcock of the United Kingdom was appointed as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

With more than 30 years of humanitarian and development experience, Mr. Lowcock serves as the chief coordinator of the world’s humanitarian response in times of urgent crisis. In his most recent position as Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Lowcock led the United Kingdom’s humanitarian response to conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and to natural disasters in Nepal and the Philippines.

Prior to his leadership of DFID, Mr. Lowcock served as DFID’s Director General for Africa and Asia, coordinating its response to humanitarian emergencies in Haiti, Myanmar and Pakistan.

He served previously as Director General for both Policy and Corporate Performance, and as Director of Finance. Having served for extended periods in Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and with a subsequent designation as a Qualified Accountant, Mr. Lowcock brings a personal and analytical approach to humanitarian challenges.

 His leadership of a large and complex public organization has provided critical experience for his work as the world’s chief humanitarian advocate. Mr. Lowcock holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of London and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from Oxford University.

The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) is responsible for the oversight of all emergencies requiring United Nations humanitarian assistance.

 He also acts as the central focal point for governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental relief activities. The ERC also leads the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key United Nations and non-United Nations humanitarian partners.