US Avails US$400k For Coronavirus Preparedness

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By Idah Mhetu

THE United States government is set to inject US$400 000 to fund Zimbabwe’s coronavirus preparedness.

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols confirmed the development on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony for the Zimbabwe chapter of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) at the American Embassy in Westgate, Harare Friday.

Nichols confirmed the US$400 000 would be channelled through the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health to help Zimbabwe prepare for the deadly virus, which is spreading across the world.

“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide $400 000 to the World Health Organisation for Zimbabwe that will go to whatever needs WHO and the Ministry of Health identify,” Nichols said.

The Ambassador said more money would be availed in case of any emergencies.
“We believe that as we know more and see more needs, we will look at what other things we might do for Zimbabwe in confronting this global pandemic, but right now there are no confirmed cases here,” said Nichols.

The US diplomat confirmed that Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention experts from the US where currently in the country and working with the Ministry of Health and WHO on Zimbabwe’s preparedness to the coronavirus.

“We currently have the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts permanently based at American Embassy in Harare who are working with the Ministry of Health and WHO to help provide ideas for Zimbabwe’s Response to the COVID-19. Fortunately, there have not yet been any confirmed cases for COVID-19 in Zimbabwe,” he added.