UK donates £54 million for food, anti-cholera strategies

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By Anna Chibamu

BRITAIN has donated £49 million towards food security in Zimbabwe and a further £5 million towards efforts to combat cholera outbreaks in its troubled former colony.

British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson said Monday the donation was out of concern over the deepening humanitarian situation in the country.

She had just paid a courtesy call on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga at government’s Munhumutapa building in Harare Monday.

“We had a chance to talk about the humanitarian situation in the country and we are concerned that there are people who are food insecure and that there are people who are struggling with health, education, and as UK, we are providing with £49 million for the food situation and a further £5 million to help with (anti) cholera outbreak.

“We have asked the First Vice President to share information about what the government is doing and what is available in the grain stores so we can coordinate our efforts in the interest of Zimbabwean people,” Robinson told the media.

The British diplomat said VP Chiwenga responded by saying she was equally concerned about the desperate situation in the country and would take steps towards ensuring a speedy resolution to the national crisis.

According to the United Nations vulnerability assessment report, more than 5.5 million locals are in need of urgent food aid.

After her recent fact-finding mission in Zimbabwe, United Nations Special Rapporteur on food Hilal Elver said the country suffers from spiralling inflation, chronic shortages of cash flow, essential staple food, clean water, electricity and health services.