The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said Thursday it will soon grant multi-million dollar facilities to support Zimbabwe in provision of emergency food aid and development of irrigation infrastructure.

Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah made the funding pledge during a meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the on-going Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) summit in Yokohama, state news agency New Ziana reported.

Oramah said part of the assistance would be availed under the bank’s Food Emergency Contingent Financing Facility (Fecontraf).

A devastating drought and Cyclone Idai this year has left an estimated 5.5 million people, out of the country’s population of 14 million people, facing hunger and in need of food aid.

Early this month, the government launched a revised international humanitarian appeal totaling 331 million U.S. dollars.

“We talked about additional requirements in infrastructure and the need to help deal with the consequences of the drought in terms of food availability,” Oramah told reporters after a closed door meeting.

“We want to be able to support food imports and also to enable the development of certain infrastructure including irrigation that will help manage weather related crisis in the future,” he added.

Oramah said he will meet with Zimbabwe Finance Minister and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor to thrash out the funding modalities.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa met with International Telecommunications Union secretary general, Houlin Zhao who lauded Zimbabwe for its continued promotion of the use of information communication technologies in its economic development process.

“We note that Zimbabwe has faced difficulties in the past…but no matter the difficult times, ICT is always put on the priority for national development and we would like to encourage Zimbabwe to continue,” he said. Enditem



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