January 15, 2020

US to support Zimbabwe to fight hunger

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

The 2018-19 drought has depleted Zimbabwe’s food stocks and water sources leaving 8 million people, almost half the population, in need of
food aid.

To stave off starvation with another drought looming this farming season, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols says his country will stand with the southern African nation and support it with food aid.

He said this after meeting acting President, Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices on Wednesday morning.

“We expressed our concern regarding the current drought and economic situation in Zimbabwe. We are coordinating closely on our cooperation,” said Ambassador Nichols soon after the meeting.

“Last year we gave Zimbabwe over $110 million dollars towards drought and Cyclone Idai. On assistance towards the 2020 drought we are waiting for detailed information from the government of Zimbabwe so that we can plan our cooperation.

“Hopefully the needs will not be as great, but we stand with the people
of Zimbabwe and will cooperate closely to ensure that the challenges of
hunger are met,” he said.

In 2019, Zimbabwe received over $370 million in humanitarian assistance from the US and Washington is pledging to continue supporting the African nation in 2020.

Turning to sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US government under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment (Zidera) Act of 2018, Ambassador Nichols said: “The government of Zimbabwe can take the necessary reforms to satisfy the conditions of that legislation (Zidera) and we hope that they will do so. That’s up to the government of Zimbabwe.”

Other issues discussed in the meeting were to do with Zimbabwe’s constitutional alignment, human rights, and the reform agenda of the

The issue of national dialogue also came up.

“National dialogue is something that should be broad and inclusive and bring all Zimbabweans together to find a way forward out of the challenges the country is currently facing,” Ambassador Nichols said.

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