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  • A group of people stack maize donated after Cyclone Idai ravished Zimbabawe.

    A group of people stack maize donated after Cyclone Idai ravished Zimbabawe. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 25 May 2019

The Xi Jinping-led government had also pledged to donate medical supplies and send a medical team to treat victims of the cyclone without cost.

On Friday, Zimbabweans received over 10,000 tons of rice from China to assist people who were affected by Cyclone Idai.

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Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming handed over the consignment of rice to Zimbabwean government representative Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Sekesai Nzenza.

"This rice donation will go a long way in complementing our efforts to alleviate hunger. However, we are requesting for additional support to feed vulnerable households until the next harvest," Nzenza said.

Minister Qian assured that China was committed to helping Zimbabwe boost its production and providing emergency food assistance when required.

"This donation is another testimony of our continuous devotion to the development of Zimbabwe's agriculture and attainment of food security. We believe that giving food to Zimbabwe is not enough. Helping the country to produce more food and more jobs is key to Zimbabwe's agriculture development," Qian stated.

The Xi Jinping-led government had also pledged to donate medical supplies and send a medical team to treat victims of the cyclone without cost.

“The Chinese medical team in Zimbabwe will visit the affected areas and bring medical supplies and carry out free treatment to the local people. We hope these efforts will help the Zimbabwean people gain confidence and strength in the fight against the disaster and we believe that under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwean people will be able to recover from this disaster and rebuild their home places soon,” Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said.

The government of China previously gifted Zimbabwe a cash donation Wednesday.

“The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe is authorized to announce that the Chinese Government decided to donate US$800,000 in cash as emergency humanitarian assistance to the Zimbabwean Government to help with its disaster relief and rebuilding effort,” Guo said.

The China-Zimbabwe cooperation includes farm machinery, agriculture inputs, secondment of senior Chinese agriculture experts to Zimbabwe and technology workshops for young Zimbabwean farmers.

Ambassador Guo said under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative, China will provide more grants and loans to encourage investment in the affected areas.

Prior to the cyclone, the  United Nations made a plea early March for donations to help with the ongoing drought in Zimbabwe.

The devastating cyclone hit the country in March, killing hundreds of people and destroying infrastructure.

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