THE United States has said it is “impressed” and “inspired” by people of Zimbabwe’s resilience which has seen them survive in difficult times.
Zimbabweans have, since 2002, been living under harsh economic conditions which have seen the closure of thousands of companies resulting in more than 85 percent unemployment.
The country’s problems have also been worsened by successive droughts which have seen more than a million locals requiring food aid after poor harvests last year.
Another poor harvest is predicted this year after poor rainfall due to the El Niño weather phenomenon.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Director of Southern African Affairs, Bradley Bessire, was on a week-long visit Zimbabwe.
The tour was aimed at evaluating the scope and severity of the current lean season and El Niño’s impact on food security in the country.
Bessire toured Matabeleland provinces which happen to be the worst affected areas with some locals said to be surviving on wild fruits.
“I am impressed and inspired by the resilience of the Zimbabwean people,” said Bessire told government officials, members of the business community and citizens he met in Gwanda before pledging his country’s commitment to assisting the hunger stricken locals.
“The United States will stand by the people of Zimbabwe during this drought, meeting their immediate needs while also reducing their vulnerability to shocks and building long-term food security.”
Bessire who also leads a working group in Washington that is coordinating USAID’s response to El Niño, said the US is going to increase funding of Zimbabwe’s long term climate change projects.-The Zimbabwean