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China donates 12 500t rice

Minister Mupfumira

Tedious Manyepo Herald Reporter
China has donated 12 500 tonnes of rice valued at over $14,7 million to help feed the vulnerable and food insecure in Zimbabwe.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Ping handed over the first consignment of the rice to Government at the Grain Marketing Board’s Aspindale depot on Monday. Mr Huang said his country was always ready to offer food assistance to Zimbabwe whenever the need arose.

This was not the first time that China donated towards humanitarian assistance, as the Asian country delivered over 19 000 tonnes of rice in view of the state of disaster that had been declared by President Mugabe after the country experienced an El Nino-induced drought in the 2015-2016 season.

China this year offered Zimbabwe $1 million to help mitigate against the effects of Cyclone Dineo floods that ravaged some parts of the country. Speaking while receiving the rice, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said more than 100 000 households were food insecure and required in excess of 5 000 tonnes of food aid every month.

She said despite the good harvest the country attained in the past agricultural season, there were some pockets of people in need of food assistance. “The current figures of food insecure households stand at 101 260, requiring 5 063 tonnes per month between July and September 2017,” said Minister Mupfumira.

“The figures will increase as we progress towards peak hunger period where food insecure households have been projected to be 301 872 requiring 15 093 tonnes per month between January and March 2018.”

Minister Mupfumira said among the food insecure households were those families affected by flooding due to Cyclone Dineo in Midlands, Masvingo, Matebeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.

“These households lost their crops, livestock and property,” she said. “As we speak, a total of 320 households have been relocated from Sipepa, which is a flood prone area, to Tshino in Tsholotsho because their area of origin has become inhabitable due to flooding.

“As such, these households are in need of continued food assistance until the next harvest season of 2017/18.”