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EU gives US $20 million to ameliorate vulnerability
March 11, 2005
JOHANNESBURG - A US $20 million
cash injection from the European Commission (EC) this week is expected
to bolster the efforts of aid agencies struggling to cope with rising
vulnerability in Zimbabwe.
The money will be disbursed
through UN agencies and NGOs, to assist the country's internally displaced
population and those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, especially children.
Zimbabwe is estimated to have over a million orphans, mainly as a result
of the AIDS pandemic.
"The European Commission
is committed to providing humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable Zimbabweans,
regardless of the political situation there. European aid is provided
strictly on the basis of genuine needs," the commission said in a
statement on Thursday.
The EU has cut all non-humanitarian
aid to the southern African country since the March 2000 presidential
elections, which President Robert Mugabe was accused of rigging, and earlier
this year also renewed its targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cabinet.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of
a deep socio-economic crisis, with rising rates of HIV/AIDS infection
and an unprecedented number of people facing food insecurity. The EU noted
that diseases that had been eradicated in the country, such as cholera
and dysentery, were once again being reported due to the lack of basic
water, sanitation and health services.
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