Zim sets up Covid-19 disaster fund
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwean government on Wednesday said it has set up a Covid-19 national disaster fund, appealing for financial support to enhance its fight against the spread of the pandemic.
Zimbabwe, which has declared the outbreak a national disaster, has to date recorded one Covid-19 fatality, eight confirmed cases and ordered a 21-day national lockdown among part of wider measures to curtail potential spreading of the coronavirus.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said while government had set aside “significant resources” to mitigate the effects of the outbreak, additional support was required.
“In that regard, the government has established a national disaster fund dedicated to receive and account for contributions from development partners and a wide spectrum of well-wishers and ring them for deployment to address and mitigate the effects of such adverse occurrences,” Prof Ncube said.
At least six national disaster fund accounts to receive support in United States dollar, South African Rand or Zimbabwean dollars have been established.
He said the funds, to be used through the ministries of health and that of local government, will be fully accounted for.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the coronavirus outbreak a state of national disaster in mid-March.
To date, treasury has availed over ZWL$500 million among a raft of other economic measures including lifting of duty on imports for production of products and equipment to be used in the fight against coronavirus.
About ZWL$200 million has also been set aside to assist at least one million vulnerable households as the country battles to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Already government has received support from the Chinese government and the Ja Ma Foundation in the form of a sponsored upgrade for the country’s main infectious disease hospital and protective equipment.
Support amounting to £1.7 million and US$25 million has also been promised by the United Kingdom and the Global Fund respectively to boost the country’s capacity to fight Covid-19.