All. major churches in Britain are ccnisidering launching a fresh attempt to raise money for relief and development work in Zimbabwe now that the country has been granted its indepemdence.
They are disappointed by the response to a joint campaign started in February by a number of Church organisation, including the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, the Catholic Insititute fu International Relations. the. Scottish International Aid Fund and Christian Aid.
The initial advertising for the appeal said: "The first target is £500,000 (about one third of the first year's cost) hut much work for the longer term lies ahead." In the event, however, onl) about £85,000 has come in.
Last week Christian Aid said there had been a lot of interest in the materials provided but little cash return.
One factor blamed for the poor response is the stress that the media has placed on political developments rather than on
the devastation caused by the seven-year war; another is the feeling detected among ordinary people that since the former Rhodesia had been so closely tied to Britain politically, relief and reconstruction should be primarily a Government responsibility.
However, the Government itself has been criticised for its lack of generosity: last week the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, announced that £75 million had been allocated to Zimbabwe. But this will be given over the next three years and It will be many months before it starts to flow.
"I he United States government has been even more miserly, promising only about £10 million this year.
This is much less than the massive programme envisaged under the AngloA merican settlement proposals which collapsed in 1977. Then a total of between £500 million and £750 million was suggested.