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SA helps Zim out

Posted by trufmwebmaster, Mon, 29 December 2008 15:29  |  Permalink | Comments (0)

South Africa has reversed a block on aid to Zimbabwe because of theworsening humanitarian crisis in the neighbouring country, apresidential spokesperson said on Monday.

South Africa had halted aid in a bid to add pressure on President Robert Mugabe and the opposition over the formation of a national unity government.

'We have now reviewed our earlier decision in view of thedeteriorating humanitarian crisis in that country. We have now startedsending the aid to Zimbabwe' through the Southern African DevelopmentCommunity (SADC), presidential spokesperson Thabo Masebe said.

South Africa last month withheld R300m of agricultural aid to Zimbabwe until an inclusive government was in place.

'When we assessed the situation recently in Zimbabwe, we foundout that the humanitarian situation there was dire and we now decidedto start sending the agricultural aid to Zimbabwe through the ZimbabweHumanitarian Development Assistance Framework, set up by the SADC,'Masebe said.

He said all the other 13 members of the group were urged tosend humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe. 'I am aware that Zambia and Namibiahave already done so,' Masebe said.

Zimbabwe's state-run newspaper The Herald has commendedNamibia, China, South Africa, Tanzania and United Nations agencies forhelping to fight a cholera epidemic which has killed about 1 200 peoplein Zimbabwe.

South Africa has also made available to Zimbabwe agricultural inputs worth R300m, said the newspaper.

'The package will translate into 12 700 tons of maize seed,2 404 tons of small grain seeds, 2 800 tons of top dressing fertiliser,8 500 tons of Compound D fertiliser and 10 million litres of fuel,' itsaid.

Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangiraihave yet to form a unity government, despite several attempts byregional leaders to implement an agreement aimed at ending thecountry's political turmoil and economic meltdown.

A power-sharing agreement, brokered by former South African president Thabo Mbeki and signed in Harare on September 15, has been undermined by squabbling over the sharing of key posts.

SOURCE: News24


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