Collen Murahwa Herald reporter
China yesterday handed over $60 000 worth of disaster relief food items to Government to cater for communities affected by the Cyclone Dineo induced floods which hit the southern parts of the country recently. The donations were sourced from The Red Cross Society of China, the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese community living in Zimbabwe. Speaking at the handover ceremony of the donations, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping said his country would always support Zimbabwe, as their friendship has come a long way since the days of the liberation struggle.
“Just as China was Zimbabwe’s most sincere friend in its pursuit for national independence and liberation struggle, so has China been a true friend of Zimbabwe in years after independence,” he said.
“Having leant about the disaster in Zimbabwe, China has responded quickly to lend a helping hand.”
Mr Huang said the donations were precipitated by Government’s plea for support and media reports which highlighted the devastating effects of Cyclone Dineo.
“As we all know, at the beginning of the year, media reports showed that the floods induced by Cyclone Dineo have killed over 100 people, damaged over 2 000 houses, left 700 houses displaced and undermined a large amount of infrastructure in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Huang promised more support in many developmental areas in the future.
“Going forward, China will continue to be Zimbabwe’s most reliable partner in speeding up industrialisation and agricultural modernisation and boosting its capacity for home grown development,” he said.
“Today’s event attests to the all-weather friendship between China and Zimbabwe that has stood the taste of time and will be carried forward for generations to come.”
The donated items included salt, sugar, cooking oil and roller meal.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere expressed gratitude over China’s donor.
“I express my sincere appreciation to the People’s Republic of China for heeding our plea for assistance to alleviate the suffering of our people from the unprecedented effects of flooding this rainfall season,” he said.
“It is remarkable that the people of China have gained experience to manage disaster risk over time and have in place a robust preparedness and response mechanisms which are backed by proactive mitigation strategies, thus ensuring resilience.
“I believe it is opportune for Zimbabweans to glean lessons from the exemplary approach.”
Over the past decade, the Chinese Government has provided five consignments of emergency humanitarian food aid to Zimbabwe worth tens of millions of US dollars.
The Asian country has also provided agricultural machinery and fertilizers in the form of governmental concessional loans worth about $100 million.
Last year, China provided 10 000 metric tonnes of rice and 10 000 tonnes of urea to tackle draught and promote agricultural development.
Just a fortnight ago, the economic giant donated $1 million in humanitarian assistance towards assisting flood victims and repairing of infrastructure.