Maize meal donated by Chinese Red Cross Society and Chinese community in Zimbabwe are on a truck in the handover ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)
HARARE, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe on Thursday handed over 60,000 U.S. dollars worth of basic food to assist hundreds of local families affected by floods that hit the southern parts of the country in February.
Of the donation, the Chinese Red Cross Society contributed 50,000 dollars while the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese community in Zimbabwe chipped in with 10,000 dollars.
The donation of maize meal, cooking oil, sugar, biscuits and salt, among other basic food stuffs, came a month after the Chinese government donated 1 million dollars in cash transfer to Zimbabwe to help the flood victims.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe declared a state of flood disaster on March 2, leading to the launch of a domestic and international appeal for 200 million dollars to help victims and repair infrastructure such as homes, roads, bridges, dams, schools, water and sanitation.
Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping is addressing during the handover ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping said China's help to the flood victims was testimony to the all-weather friendship between the two countries.
China, he said, had over the past 10 years supported Zimbabwe to cope with emergency need of food due to drought, and had also provided support in the form of machinery and fertilizer to boost Zimbabwe's agricultural production.
"Going forward, China will continue to be Zimbabwe's most reliable partner in speeding up industrialization and agricultural modernization and boosting its capacity for home- grown development," the ambassador said.
In accepting the donation, Zimbabwean Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere thanked the Chinese for the donation and invited Chinese businesses in Zimbabwe to partner local companies and help the country repair infrastructure damaged by the floods.
The heavy rain that was worsened by Cyclone Dineo has left 271 people dead, another 128 injured and nearly 2,000 homeless in Zimbabwe.
The worst-affected district was Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North Province, where a total of 859 people were left homeless and are currently in a transit camp.
According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, over 100,000 people are without safe drinking water following the damage to water supply infrastructure.