EU announces health, water aid for Zimbabwe

Brussels – The European Commission said on Tuesday it has allocated €8-million (about R90-million) in aid to help Zimbabweans without proper health services and water supplies.

The funds will be used to provide medicines and medical supplies, water treatment equipment and spare parts to upgrade water treatment plants and wells, the European Union’s executive branch said in a statement.

The projects will be operated by non-governmental relief organisations as well as agencies from the United Nations and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.

The European Union has a freeze on development aid to Zimbabwe, meaning the commission can only send humanitarian aid which in 2007 totalled 90 million euros.

The European Union and the United States maintain a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle in protest at controversial elections and alleged human rights abuses.

The current unity government in Harare formed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe estimates that $8,5-billion will be needed to rebuild an economy shattered by record hyperinflation.