Zimbabwe Appeals For US$200 Mln In Aid For Flood Victims

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The Zimbabwe government has appealed for about US$200 million to assist people affected by floods which have wreaked havoc in southern parts of the country.

Launching the appeal here monday, Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko said at least 271 people were killed by floods while thousands had their homes destroyed.

“It is against this background that an appeal for humanitarian assistance is being made by the Government of Zimbabwe to both the domestic and the international communities to come to the aid of Zimbabwe,” he said.

He added, “All we are saying is please may you give a hand to our people. The destruction is so massive. Schools have been destroyed, roads have been destroyed, 271 lives were lost and a number of diseases are coming up because of a lot of water.”

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said about US$200 million were needed to repair damages caused by the floods. “The damage arising from the floods is very extensive and unprecedented in the history of our Acountry. We are estimating that to repair the damage we need something in the region of US$188 million to US$200 million,” he added.

“We are obviously not sitting and throwing our hands in the air. We are going to mobilise US$35 million towards that effort.”

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country representative Bishow Parajuli rallied development partners to join hands with the government in responding to the disaster.

“We take note of the appeal announced. We all join hands in supporting Zimbabwe during this major disaster. I want to appeal to the international community and the UN system to support the government as we did during the drought,” he said.

President Robert Mugabe last month declared the floods a state of disaster following the impact of heavy persistent rains.