The Herald (Harare)

7 April 2006

Zimbabwe: Kuwait, Algeria Donate Food

Harare — KUWAIT and Algeria yesterday separately donated an assortment of foodstuffs to needy Zimbabweans.

The Kuwaiti government yesterday donated 110 tonnes of maize to the Government in a symbolic gesture of that country's commitment to help underprivileged Zimbabweans. Additionally, Kuwait also donated 120 cartons of baked beans, 170 cases of sugar, 70 cases of vegetable oil, 12 cartons of anti-retroviral drugs and 1 000 blankets.

Kuwait's Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Saud Faisal Al-Daweesh said his government would soon drill and rehabilitate boreholes in the country's 10 provinces. "We want to hail the brotherly friendship between the State of Kuwait and Zimbabwe. It is our symbolic gesture to assist the people of Zimbabwe and we will continue supporting Zimbabwe," said Mr Al-Daweesh at the official handover. The donation made by Kuwait was sourced from the Red Crescent Society and the Embassy of Kuwait.

Ambassador Al-Daweesh said this was the first batch of a series of donations that the Middle East country was going to give to Zimbabwe, which has been hit by severe droughts i n the past few years, resulting in the country experiencing food shortages. The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Nicholas Goche, said the donation would go a long way in assisting those affected by drought. "As you might all be aware, over the past four years our country has been going through periods of consecutive droughts, which have threatened the livelihoods of our population," he said, adding that the country needed such assistance. He also said part of the donation would go to districts that received low rainfall last season.

"On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, I would like to accept your offer of 110 tonnes of maize, cooking oil, sugar and blankets which will be distributed in all the country's 10 provinces. This will go a long way in alleviating the plight of some of our people," Cde Goche said. He also welcomed the move to drill and rehabilitate boreholes saying it would also complement Government efforts of providing safe and clean water to rural communities.

Cde Goche also said the disabled people would also benefit from the donation through programmes to make them self-reliant. He also noted that although handouts cannot permanently alleviate poverty, the poor needed to be engaged in self-sustaining projects that can push them out of poverty. Zimbabwe and Kuwait enjoy excellent relations of friendship and mutual respect. Kuwait, through its African Moslems Agency, donated over 25 000 tonnes of emergency food aid to Zimbabwe in 2002 in an effort to alleviate hunger among the country's 7,8 million people who needed food aid.

Algerian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Ali Mokrani yesterday donated 2 000 tonnes of rice sourced from the World Food Programme, for the Government of Zimbabwe's schools feeding programme. The feeding programme, which handled by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture and the WFP seeks to improve the diet of children in districts facing food shortages. "This gesture of solidarity is based on Algeria's belief that African countries ought to share their potentialities by helping each other so as to collectively face the challenges confronting them among which is the question of food security on the continent," Ambassador Mokrani said.

He said the food aid was given as a gesture of solidarity to Zimbabwe and other African countries in similar situations. "In this context, Algeria, guided by the virtue of solidarity and friendship of solidarity, has not hesitated to come with that kind of help to some African countries which due to drought, are facing a shortage of basic grain and cereals food, among them Zimbabwe," he said. Ambassador Mokrani said the donation was in conjunction with the international efforts being undertaken by the WFP and others. "It is our belief as Algerians that the international community has the responsibility and duty to save human kind from starvation, famine and hunger," he said.

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