BY PEARL MATIBE IN WASHINGTON/MIRIAM MANGWAYA
ZIMBABWE is set to receive US$4,6 million from the United States for alleviation of the impact of COVID-19 on rural communities.
This was announced on Thursday by Jeremy Konyndyk, executive director of the US Agency for International Development, a humanitarian organisation funded by the US government.
The money comes as a reprieve for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cash-strapped government, which has failed to give its citizens social grants to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Zimbabwe is one of the 12 African countries set to benefit from the US$91 million availed by the US towards psychosocial support and other basic needs for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neighbouring Mozambique will get US$5,5 million which will provide critical food, nutrition and water sanitation assistance for women and children, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and water-borne diseases.
“I’m proud today to share that the US is announcing an additional US$91 million of support for health, food, water, and other humanitarian requirements in 12 African countries with resources from the American Rescue Plan,” Konyndyk said.
“We also recognise that for many people around the world, the secondary impacts on their education, their livelihoods, their local economy, are also primary impacts.
“And so, through our support announced today and other work that we’re doing through our development portfolio, we are trying to support all of the ways that this pandemic is affecting people’s lives both in the health sphere and outside of it.”
The US will also distribute five million coronavirus vaccines in African countries through the African Union by this monthend, or early July.
Zimbabwe is currently battling the third wave of the respiratory disease and government has placed hotspot cities and towns under localised lockdowns to contain the spread of the pandemic.
On Thursday, the cumulative infection cases in Zimbabwe stood at 40 927, with 37 109 recoveries and
1 647 deaths. On the day, the country recorded 371 news cases and seven deaths.
The vaccination programme is in progress and government has said it is prioritising those in need of the second jab, amid reports that some major health centres have run out of vaccines.
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