Funny Hudzerema Herald Reporter
The Chinese government will donate rice worth $24,6 million to support Government in distributing food to areas which have been severely hit by the El Nino-induced drought this cropping season.
Speaking during the second consultative meeting to update on the country’s status on food, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Cde Huang Ping said China will do its best to assist Zimbabwe during this drought season.
“The Chinese government and people attach great importance to the recent severe drought and famine in Zimbabwe and sympathise with the suffering of the affected people.
“In this regard, the Chinese government decided to provide rice as emergency food aid worthy of 160 million yuan (approximately $24.6 million) in grant to Zimbabwe, implementing President Xi Jinping’s commitment at the FOCAC Johannesburg summit that in the next three years, the Chinese side would provide one billion yuan in emergency food aid to African countries,” he said.
Zimbabwe currently requires 700 000 tonnes of maize while Government has placed orders for grain totalling 469 000 tonnes from different countries.
“Currently, China is working closely with relevant departments of the Zimbabwean side to ensure food aid arrives in the disaster areas as soon as possible, and to help alleviate the famine in the country.
“I believe, with the help of the international community, the Zimbabwean government and people will overcome the difficulties,” he said.
In recent years, the Chinese government has provided five batches of emergency humanitarian food aid to Zimbabwe, including 7 500 tonnes of maize in 2002 and 2006 in two batches, 4 000 tonnes of soyabeans in 2007, emergency food assistance worth 90 million yuan in 2011 and rice worth 50 million yuan in 2014.
In 2009, the Chinese government also donated $5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP), providing 7 000 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe.