By Robert Tapfumaneyi
UNITED Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli weekend made a US$62 million appeal to the international community to help locals rebuild homes, schools and health facilities decimated by the recent Cyclone Idai in Manicaland’s Chipinge and Chimanimani districts.
Parajuli’s appeal comes after individuals, corporates, private entities and countries joined hands in donating food, clothing, medicine and various other items to survivors of the region’s worst natural disaster in over two decades.
The tropical rains which hit parts of Manicaland and Masvingo last month also damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges, with entire villages reduced to rubble.
Survivors of the catastrophe were also left without any sources of safe drinking water.
“We as the friends of the Zimbabwe government stand ready to support and commit to reaching out with various needs at this very difficult time,” Parajuli told NewZimbabwe.com Sunday, soon after a UN consignment of donated goods arrived at Robert Mugabe International Airport.
“Sadly, Zimbabwe is suffering with cyclone in a triple way, Elino, economic difficulties and crisis and in a way to rebuild the future of the country and now with this terrible cyclone which has taken many people lives.
“My plea to the international community; Zimbabwe needs help, please join and support UN system and contribute to help the people of Zimbabwe to rebuild themselves, to meet the immediate needs and we are going to be in need for US$62 million dollars to meet the various non-food items.”
Parajuli added, “Now we are putting in temporary structures. We need to help them rebuild proper structures and proper houses and build better.
The UN diplomat said he has since received a formal request from the government of Zimbabwe for financial assistance.
“I have received a formal request from Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe to mobilise support to rebuild the structures of the affected villagers.
“And as of next week we are going to bring $4 million dollars to meet the immediate needs which are being done right now to increase non-food items,” he said.