23 March 2019

Zimbabwe: China Pours in Us$800 000

China yesterday donated US$800 000 to victims of Cyclone Idai which left over 139 people dead and destroyed property in Manicaland and parts of Masvingo.

Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun said China was saddened by the damage caused by the cyclone.

He said the Chinese President XI Jinping had sent a condolence letter to President Mnangagwa.

"The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe is authorised to announce that the Chinese Government decided to donate US$800 000 in cash as emergency humanitarian assistance to the Zimbabwean Government to help with its disaster relief and rebuilding effort.

"On March 20, President Xi Jinping sent a condolence letter to President Mnangagwa where he expressed his sincere sympathy to the lives lost and reiterated that China will provide assistance within its capacity in line with the needs of Zimbabwe," he said.

Ambassador Guo said his government will also provide 10 165 tonnes of rice, medical supplies and a medical team to treat for free victims of the cyclone.

"The Chinese medical team in Zimbabwe will visit the affected areas and bring medical supplies and carry out free treatment to the local people. We hope these efforts will help the Zimbabwean people gain confidence and strength in the fight against the disaster and we believe that under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwean people will be able to recover from this disaster and rebuild their home places soon," he said.

Ambassador Guo said under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative, China will provide more grants and loans to encourage investment in the affected areas.

He paid tribute to the Chinese

community in Zimbabwe for swiftly responding to the calls for assistance by those affected by the cyclone in Chipinge and Chimanimani.

"The Chinese community in Zimbabwe also took swift action and managed to mobilise supplies worth US$310 000 in a very short time and 11 trucks fully loaded with those supplies have since reached the people in need in Manicaland."

Meanwhile, corporates continue to donate to the cyclone victims, with NetOne handing over goods worth $50 000.

The goods comprised maize-meal, petroleum jelly, flour, sugar, rice, soap and cooking oil.

Speaking on behalf of NetOne chief executive officer Mr Lazarus Muchenje while handing over the goods in Mutare, NetOne Marketing and Public Relations Executive Dr Eldrette Shereni said: "In addition to the key basic items presented here today, we have also partnered 50 volunteer doctors, through provision of communication services and solutions, in tandem with our mission statement. We will continue to assist in efforts to mitigate challenges faced in assisting the affected victims".

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