Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
The Chinese Government will this year provide US$30 million to assist and support the Government and the country as relations between the two countries continue to strengthen.
This was revealed by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun after he paid a courtesy call on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday.
In an interview, Ambassador Guo said they had discussed several issues with Vice President Chiwenga.
“We had a very good discussion with the Vice President and I once again extended my condolences to the families of victims of the cyclone,” he said.
“A few days ago we decided to provide US$800 000 in cash as an urgent humanitarian aid towards the rescue efforts being conducted by the Zimbabwean Government,” he said.
He reiterated that they would soon send a medical team to the affected area to assist victims of the cyclone.
Ambassador Guo said this year they were going to assist Government in drilling 500 boreholes and providing 10 165 tonnes of rice.
“The support, the assistance will be over US$30 million. As true friends, true brothers and true partners we will do our best to support your country, Government and people,” he said.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said Ambassador Gou and the Vice President held discussions on relations and economic co-operation between the two countries.
“First of all as you are aware Ambassador Gou has just presented his credentials to the President and it was his first time to meet the Vice President and discuss issues to do with our relations in general and issues to do with economic co-operation in particular. Therefore these are the areas of focus which His Excellency was briefing the Vice President,” he said
He said they think that the relationship between the two countries which had been raised to comprehensive strategic partnership was going to bear fruit.
Minister Moyo said among the partnerships was a Grant of Parliament, which had just started, Hwange 7 and 8 expansion, which had been funded and the expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, among other issues.
He said Ambassador Gou informed Vice President Chiwenga that Zimbabwe should also benefit from the $60 billion fund available for Africa under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Meanwhile Canada has committed US$3,5 million to assist victims of Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa which left more than over 150 people dead and destroyed infrastructure in Zimbabwe.
The assistance will be provided through United Nations, Red Cross and non-governmental organisation partners and will focus on meeting the immediate food, shelter, water, sanitation, health and protection needs of households displaced by flooding or otherwise impacted by the storm.
In a statement by media relations office, Foreign Development Minister, Maryam Monsef said Canada will provide initial funding of up to $3,5 million in emergency assistance to support humanitarian organisations responding to the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa.
“Canada has also made a donation of humanitarian relief stocks, including tarpaulins, shelter kits, mosquito nets and blankets, to help respond to the immediate needs of the people affected by the cyclone,” read the statement.
Corporates also continue to donate to the cyclone victims, with Delta Corporation donating and $1,5 million and goods $50 000 towards the ongoing efforts to deal with the emergency.
Companies in the Masawara Group, comprising of Zimnat Insurance Group, Cresta Group of Hotels, Minerva, Botswana Insurance Company and Grand Re-Insurance have raised nearly RTGS$200 000 to purchase immediate relief packs for 500 families.
The relief packs will include two blankets, two buckets, 10 litres of water, four kilogrammes sugar, four kilogrammes rice, four litres of cooking oil, 10kilogrammes mealie meal, one pack of matemba, four plastic plates, four spoons, four cups, two bars of soap, two packets of diapers and three packs of sanitary wear per family.
Masawara employees have also contributed food items, clothing, bedding and money to help assist the cyclone victims.
Masawara Insurance chief executive, Mr Mustafa Sachak said the company was also planning to come up with long term measures to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Adam Molai Foundation, a non-profit making organisation has donated an assortment of goods worth US$250 000 and mobilised 10 local medical doctors and medical supplies towards Cyclone Idai victims.
The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and its corporate partners also donated an assortment of goods and food stuffs worth over $500 000 to the cyclone victims.