Rutendo Rori Herald Reporter
The Netherlands government has pledged 1,5 million euros to Zimbabwe as assistance towards fighting the effects of the El Nino-induced drought.
This is part of the 8 million euros that was pledged to Southern Africa by the Dutch government.
Speaking at the Netherlands National King’s Day celebrations last Thursday, Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Gera Sneller said this would help enhance mutual relations between the two countries.
“El Nino has hit Zimbabwe hard and the Government has been forced to declare it an emergency situation.
“The Netherlands is among the countries that have responded to the request for assistance and recently my government pledged 8 million euros to WFP and FAO to help combat the current crisis in the region as well as increase the resilience of people and systems. Of this pledge, 1.5 million euros is earmarked for Zimbabwe,” said Ms Sneller.
The El Nino has caused severe drought in the country and has compromised the food security situation. The Government declared it a state of disaster as drought has caused general crop failure.
According to reports, about three million people need food aid.
President Mugabe recently signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement in New York, the United States, where the world leaders vowed to fight climate change. The President pledged Zimbabwe’s commitment to global efforts at climate change mitigation and adaptation saying Zimbabwe had since set up a high-level committee in his office to drive the efforts.
Mr Sneller said Netherlands government was working with Dutch agri-business expertise in assisting Zimbabwean farmers.
“The embassy is working closely with a number of Dutch agri-businesses whose expertise would assist Zimbabwean growers to increase production and improve quality of their products, both for local market and to access markets in Europe,” said Ms Sneller.
She said the Netherlands government was focusing on economic cooperation between the two countries.