THE United States Government’s (USG) has extended another US$600,000 towards Cyclone Idai, bringing the total amount of financial aid from America towards the disaster to US$3.1 Million, a USG official has confirmed.
By Michael Gwarisa
Briefing a discussion on Zimbabwe’s path to prosperity, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Brian Nichols said the American government was committed to assisting Zimbabwe through providing humanitarian assistance whenever the need arises.
“The United States is continuing to support Zimbabwe in this difficult moment in the wake of Cyclone Idai. I would like to announce that we will be providing another US$600,000 in assistance to Zimbabwe focused on rural livelihoods and food security.
“That will bring our total support to Cyclone Idai to US$3.1 million and as further needs are identified, we will continue to provide additional assistance,” said Ambassador Nichols.
In 2018, the United States provided over US$293 million in assistance to Zimbabwe and since independence, the USG has also provided US$3.2 Billion in assistance to the country, making the United States the largest bilateral donor to Zimbabwe.
The United States’ initial contribution to the Cyclone Idai was US$100,000 which provided the much needed emergency assistance to those suffering in the aftermath of this disaster. USAID allocated US$100,000 in lifesaving support to civil society partner GOAL Zimbabwe to reach 35,000 individuals in cyclone-affected areas of Manicaland Province.
In April, the USG donated US$2, 5 million to respond to emergency needs in Zimbabwe following Cyclone Idai. The contribution, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace, went towards supporting immediate food needs in the most affected areas of Manicaland Province.
Torrential rains caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai resulted in significant flooding in Manicaland Province from March 16–17. The flooding caused at least 139 deaths as of March 20, according to the Government of Zimbabwe. In addition, flooding damaged or destroyed public infrastructure and property and resulted in crop and livestock losses. Affected populations are also at high risk of waterborne diseases and other health conditions due to water contamination and stagnation.