BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday challenged government to ensure transparency in distributing aid. The UN board was donating 80 metric tonnes of goods including medicine to Cyclone Idai survivors. UN ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bishow Parajuli said:
We are very humbled as UN system to join the government of Zimbabwe in solidarity in this crisis, where many people lost their lives and we say to members of the families who lost their loved ones, ‘we are your friends and we will help you in these trying times’. We also appeal for more support and we will be happy if the goods reached the intended cyclones victims.
Sekai Nzenza, Public Service Minister assured Parajuli that the donations would benefit survivors. She said:
You have come in at a time when urgent attention is needed on the wellbeing of the affected people. I would like to assure you that the donations will definitely benefit the victims of Cyclone Idai and that we will not tolerate any mishandling of the goods.
The goods were received at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Public Service minister Sekai Nzenza, Local Government deputy minister Jennifer Mhlanga and Bishow Parajuli.
Robert Tibagwa, UNHCR country representative in Zimbabwe, indicated that the donation was intended for 10 000 beneficiaries. Another batch is expected soon and is premised at covering about 20 000 refugees living at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge district.
The challenge for transparency follows last week reports of partisan distribution of aid in Manicaland.
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