23 March 2019

Zimbabwe: UK Commits Us$23m Towards Idai

THE United Kingdom has committed US$23 million to assist victims of Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Melanie Robinson has said.

She said the British royal family, led by Queen Elizabeth II, sent letters of greetings and condolences to the people of Zimbabwe through President Mnangagwa.

She said this after an hour-long meeting with the President at his Munhumutapa Building Office in Harare yesterday.

"I was also able to say to the President myself that my condolences are with him and the people of Zimbabwe," she said.

"I was able to tell him that the UK has already committed US$23 million which is the largest bilateral donor to the region at the moment in response to Cyclone Idai.

"Here in Zimbabwe we have prepositioned equipment in Mutare so we have been able to respond very quickly and that is health equipment, medical supply and some hygiene equipment and making sure that it get to the people who really need it.

"We have been working to make sure that children reunite with their families. I am also happy to say the British people are putting the money to help the people of Zimbabwe this time I think following an excellent example by the people of Zimbabwe who have really come together as a country to help those affected. And the UK government has said it will support pound-for-pound all the money from UK people.

"My message was really one of condolence and the British people standing with the people of Zimbabwe at this difficult time."

A source close the deliberations intimated that the discussions also focused on Zimbabwe's prospects of rejoining the Commonwealth and re-engagement.

"There was also a discussion around the issue of Commonwealth in light of the events that happened in August last year and January this year," said the source.

"The ambassador also briefed the President about Brexit and what it means to Zimbabwe. On the issue of debt clearance, there was also another discussion in light of the G7 Summit that is coming in May in Paris, France. There are certain things that we are supposed to do as Zimbabwe but UK has committed to support us."

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