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US provides additional $600K to Cyclone Idai victims

The United States Government has provided an additional $600 000 to approximately 1 700 smallholder farmers in Chimanimani District to assist them to recover and rebuild their lives following Cyclone Idai. 

The tropical storm, hit eastern Zimbabwe on March 16, destroying homes and flooding communities in the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

According to the government, 185 people died but the UN migration agency puts the death toll at 259, 200 people were injured, 16 000 households displaced and 250 000 people affected.

As part of ongoing relief efforts, the $600 000 from the United States government would help the 1700 small holder farmers restart their lives.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is to provide the funds to its local partner, LEAD Trust, to spearhead these recovery efforts over the next year.

In a statement, the US embassy in Harare said the programme would help smallholder farmers grow high value crops, cereals, and pulses, and improve nutrition and hygiene.

As part of these efforts, USAID will provide smallholder farmers with 138 000 kg of locally procured seed and 305 000 kg of fertiliser. 

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols noted his country was committed to helping the people of Zimbabwe.

 “The United States continues to stand with the people of Zimbabwe. The funding towards recovery efforts from USAID will help communities in Chimanimani District rebuild their lives following the tragedy of Cyclone Idai.  This contribution will help communities meet their short and long term food security needs and assist them on their journey to self-reliance,” he said.

The embassy added that the additional contribution complements previous Cyclone Idai relief efforts made through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace and Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which brings the total US government’s assistance to $3.2 million.

“USAID continues to support the immediate food needs of approximately 133 000 individuals in the most affected areas, providing 2 000 metric tonnes of sorghum, vegetable oil, and fortified cereals.  In addition, USAID supported a two-month activity that provided water, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter to 36 400 individuals in cyclone-affected areas of Manicaland Province,” read the statement. 

Besides the US, the government is working with other donor governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, local relief groups, to provide timely emergency relief and disaster recovery to those affected by Cyclone Idai.

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