from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – THE European Union (EU) has made available €64,7 million (US$82.169 million) in humanitarian aid for Southern African countries dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and persistent drought.
Funding from this aid package will go for humanitarian projects in Angola (€3 million), Botswana (€1,95 million), Comoros (€500 000), Eswatini (€2,4 million), Lesotho (€4,8 million) and Madagascar (€7,3 million).
Other member states for Southern African Development Community (SADC) region comprise Malawi (€7,1 million), Mauritius (€250 000), Mozambique (€14,6 million), Namibia (€2 million), Zambia (€5 million) and Zimbabwe (€14,2 million) will benefit.
A further €1.6 million is allocated to regional disaster preparedness actions.
“The EU is helping to provide life-saving assistance to impoverished households suffering from crop and livestock losses due to drought,” said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.
He said the aid package would also strengthen the preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic for countries in the region.
“In parallel, the EU is helping communities better prepare for natural hazards and reduce their impact.”
The humanitarian aid assistance announced on Monday comes on top of the more than €67 million allocated to the region in 2019 following the impact of the two cyclones, drought, and the economic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
The southern Africa region has had just one normal rainy season in the last five years, with the last quarter of 2019 being one of the ten driest since 1981 for most areas, causing large-scale livestock losses and damaging harvests.
– CAJ News