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"United States Is Zimbabwe's Biggest Bilateral Donor"

1 month agoFri, 03 May 2024 14:02:55 GMT
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"United States Is Zimbabwe's Biggest Bilateral Donor"

The United States of America’s most senior diplomat in Zimbabwe, Elaine French, has said her country is the biggest bilateral donor in Zimbabwe and has provided nearly US$5 billion to the southern African country since 1980.

Speaking in an interview with AB Communications Editor-in-Chief Moses Matenga on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), French, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe also said this year, the United States has recommitted the PEPFAR programme with US$209 to support the government of Zimbabwe.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a critical initiative aimed at saving lives, preventing HIV infections, and accelerating progress toward achieving HIV/AIDS pandemic control in more than 50 countries worldwide. Said French:

I am so proud of the work the US has done especially in the health sector here in Zimbabwe. The United States is actually the biggest bilateral donor in Zimbabwe in particular in the health sector.

Since 1980, the United States has provided nearly US$5bn to the people of Zimbabwe and the vast majority of that has been in health-related issues.

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In 1980, at independence, the US made a promise to the people of Zimbabwe to help rebuild the health sector.

That commitment initially was for US$2mn but that US$2mn has actually grown to nearly US$5bn in the last four decades plus.

I think some people might feel that it has diminished in the last years but actually it has since grown. In the last three years alone we have provided a billion dollars to the people of Zimbabwe.

This year we have recommitted the PEPFAR programme with US$209 to support the government of Zimbabwe in terms of addressing and combating the HIV epidemic and this is to support over two million Zimbabweans to live healthier longer lives by provision of Antiretroviral Therapy.

We are not just working in the HIV sphere, we are also giving out support to the Ministry of Health and the government in terms of tackling Tuberculosis and Malaria.

French also revealed that the U.S. has committed an additional US$11 to assist Zimbabwe to mitigate the effects of the El-induced drought. She said:

It’s a serious issue and I know it is a serious one for many Zimbabweans. It is not only a serious issue for Zimbabweans but the region as well.

In January, the US committed an additional US$11mn in assistance to some of the most vulnerable people in the country to help them better survive in this difficult period.

That’s an addition to the US$115mn the United States provided in the last five years in the agriculture and food security sectors.

As I mentioned earlier, drought is affecting the entire region and the recent drought declaration by the President, it helps us to look at Zimbabwe and its neighbours and look at how the United States will respond comprehensively to the region.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate has confirmed Pamela Marie Tremont as the country’s new ambassador to Zimbabwe in a Senate vote.

The U.S. has not had an ambassador to Zimbabwe since 2021, when its previous ambassador, Brian Nichols, was reassigned.

The US Embassy in Harare has been overseen by Chargé d’Affaires French since 2022.

More: Pindula News

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