USAID stocks at the organisation's Durban warehouse. Picture: Supplied

Durban - The United States government had provided an additional US$2.5 million (about R35 million) to respond to emergency needs in Zimbabwe following Cyclone Idai, it said on Wednesday. 

The contribution was made through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace. The funds would be used to support food needs in the most affected areas of Manicaland province, in the east of Zimbabwe.

"USAID will work through the World Food Program (WFP) to provide immediate food assistance to approximately 133 000 individuals affected by the cyclone in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts. The contribution includes more than 2 000 metric tons of U.S. in-kind sorghum, vegetable oil, and fortified cereals that were prepositioned from USAID’s warehouse in Durban, South Africa," said the statement. 

"The United States stands with the people of Zimbabwe during this devastating time. The humanitarian assistance from USAID will save lives and alleviate suffering as people rebuild following the tragedy of Cyclone Idai," said U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian A Nichols. 

The U.S. government had provided nearly $10 million in humanitarian assistance to help people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who had been affected by Cyclone Idai. This included $US100 000 for GOAL Zimbabwe to support water, sanitation, hygiene and shelter for 36 400 individuals in cyclone-affected areas of Manicaland province.

In Zimbabwe, Cyclone Idai caused at least 181 deaths and an estimated 270 000 people were in need of assistance. The U.S. Government was working in partnership with other donor governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, local relief groups and others to provide timely emergency relief to those impacted by the cyclone, said the statement. 

African News Agency (ANA)