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Fuel shortages will not affect cyclone relief efforts: WFP

Emergency and rescue personnel are seen at the site of a building which collapsed in Lagos on March 13, 2019. - At least 10 children were among scores of people missing on March 13, 2019 after a four-storey building collapsed in Lagos, with rescuers trying to reach them through the roof of the damaged structure. The children were attending a nursery and primary school on the top floor of the residential building when the structure collapsed. Police said they believed scores of people were trapped under the rubble. (Photo by SEGUN OGUNFEYITIMI / AFP)

Almot Maqolo

HARARE – The World Food Program (WFP) said this week it had secured adequate fuel supplies for its air operations to help in Zimbabwe’s disaster relief efforts.

This comes after media reports alleging shortages of Jet A-1 fuel in the southern African country would impact negatively on emergency assistance.

Last month, Cyclone Idai wreaked havoc in Mozambique and the eastern parts of Zimbabwe, the latter estimated to have lost over 250 lives while at least 21,940 people were displaced.

“WFP Zimbabwe, working closely in coordination with Department of Civil Protection and local fuel suppliers, has secured adequate fuel supplies for its current operations. In the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Idai, ensuring access to fuel for relief operations was an urgent priority,” WFP said in a statement Wednesday.

“WFP continues to liaise with Government and other partners to ensure sufficient access to fuel to continue air operations to affected areas.”

WFP is currently providing humanitarian air services to about 20 partners, supporting the delivery of urgently-needed relief items (including food, medicine and shelter) to those in need in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

Over the next three months, WFP plans to reach up to 270,000 affected people with food and nutrition assistance.

“The plan will include multiple phases, from initial focused distributions of a nutrition product, Super Cereal +, to the most vulnerable, for three weeks, to scaling up to a full food ration for the broader population for three months, and it will also include a final early recovery phase,” said the international relief body.

The Reboot Fund, a local initiative, consisting of reputable individuals drawn from Enterprise Zimbabwe, revealed at least RTGS$100 million was required for the rebuilding, restoring and rebooting of the affected areas in the eastern parts of the country.

Some of the costs identified to date included:

Schools: Blocks, Roofs, Walls, Toilets RTGS                                    +$2.5 million

Water Supply: Boreholes, Deep Wells, Springs                                  RTGS +$2 million

Sanitation Facilities: Household, Institutional Latrines RTGS          +$2 million

Power: Poles, Transformers, Conductors RTGS                                +$14 million

Road Network: Chimanimani Urban Roads RTGS                           +$23 million

Agric Infrastructure: Irrigation Equipment USD                               +$800 000

Economic Activity: Lost Monthly RTGS                                           +$20 million

Buildings: SMEs                                                                                 RTGS +$450 000

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