Zimbabwe: China Releases U.S.$2 Million Grant for Cyclone Idai Recovery

The Chinese government under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund has provided additional assistance to victims of Cyclone Idai through a reconstruction fund aimed at rebuilding schools and clinics.

The USD$2million grant will be implemented under the just launched Post Disaster Restoration Assistance after Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe project, targeted at assisting rebuilding efforts of affected communities in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

An estimated 50 000 households, 12 health facilities and 143 schools were damaged or swept away by Cyclone Idai and through the funding provided by China, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and its partners will provide roofing repairs and materials.

Zimbabwe is currently battling the coronavirus, with vulnerable populations being the most affected. Officials say it is important that victims of the 2019 Cyclone Idai are not forgotten during the pandemic.

UNDP Resident Representative, Georges van Montfort said the reconstruction efforts are collaborative, including the involvement of local communities in the reconstruction, and targeted at critical infrastructure.

“This project arises from the need to address the impact of Cyclone Idai to infrastructure in affected communities and the need to rebuild critical structures such as clinics, schools and houses” van Montfort.

The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo, said the funding will have a significant impact in Cyclone Idai post-disaster recovery, as the government is already hard-pressed by current economic challenges.

“As the Government of Zimbabwe is grappling with residual effects of Cyclone Idai, the USD$2million from the People’s Republic of China will significantly impact our post Cyclone Idai recovery,” said Moyo.

The fund will go towards rebuilding and refurbishing 237 households, 7 clinics and 8 clinic staff houses, 66 toilets for 46 schools in Chimanimani and 30 schools in Chipinge.

Local community semi-skilled builders, carpenters and general workers will be recruited for this initiative, through a private, public and community partnership, to ensure community participation and sustainable delivery of the project.

The Cyclone Idai recovery project will be the first partnership between UNDP Zimbabwe and the Government of China, through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund.

Chinese ambassador, Ambassador Guo Shaochun, said they remain committed to assisting the victims of the cyclone and supporting developing countries implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He said his government was on hand to provide immediate emergency assistance when the disaster struck as he reiterated the commitment of the Chinese to cordial bilateral relations with Zimbabwe.

“After Cyclone Idai, the Chinese Government immediately provided emergency humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe through bilateral and multilateral channels. Through cooperation with UNDP, we will continue to provide assistance and believe this project will be carried out successfully”, said Shaochun.

The project will be implemented over a 12-month period through a multi-stakeholder partnership of UN Agencies, Government, NGOs, Private Sector and local communities, with key implementing partners, UNDP and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

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