Zimbabwe on Monday received assistance of 12,173 tonnes of rice from China to help vulnerable people who were affected by the drought that created havoc last year. Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister, Ms. Prisca Mupfumira said the donation, which follows Zimbabwe’s international food aid appeal in 2016, would also be distributed to families that were affected by floods in February this year. Speaking at the signing ceremony with the Chinese Embassy, Mupfumira said the rice was expected in the country by June.
In response to the appeal, China in 2016 already donated 19,000 tonnes of rice which had been distributed to the needy throughout the country. We appreciate the gesture made by China, she said.
“In February last year, His Excellency (President Mugabe) declared a state of emergency because of the El Nino-induced drought which affected the country,” said Minister Mupfumira. “There was a call for humanitarian assistance and we got a lot of support from various sectors, governments, non-governmental organisations and other developing partners. I am happy to report that since we started the programme on food mitigation, we have had a lot of support from our friends and I would like to mention in particular, our friends from the People’s Republic of China,” she added.
China’s donation comes after it handed over on March 31, 2017, over 1 million U.S. dollars to Zimbabwe to help thousands of families affected by floods that hit the southern parts of the country in February. The Red Cross Society of China also donated 50,000 dollars while the Chinese community in Zimbabwe chipped in with 10,000 dollars to assist the flood victims. Heavy rains that were worsened by Cyclone Dineo in February left 271 people dead, another 128 injured and nearly 2,000 homeless in Zimbabwe. The deaths were caused by lightning strikes, drowning and landslides, according to the Civil Protection Unit of Zimbabwe.