US donates $90k to HIV/Aids projects

HARARE - Six community-based organisations have received $90 000 grants from the United States of America, that will benefit 36 people living with HIV/Aids.

Deputy minister of Tourism, Walter Kanhanga said the grants will go a long way in assisting community-based projects.

“Small as they may look, most of our people don’t have income. In our case, the grant is for 36 people living with HIV. They will work in two ways, which are nutrition and income through selling some of the eggs. This augurs well with ZimAsset,” he said.

Beneficiary Pascal Manyakaidze of Shurugwi Partners said the grants will help in fighting societal scourges such as rape, gender-based violence and environmental crimes.

“In the face of the social problems we are facing, these so-called small grants can make big changes in our communities,” he said.

Christian Care Zimbabwe, Ladder of Hope, Chengston Home Based Care and Crisis Alleviation Centre, Farmer’s Association of Community Self-Help Investment Groups and Loving Hand are the beneficiaries who made it from over 200 proposals submitted.

The programme commenced in 1980 and in the last 10 years over $1 million has been disbursed.

Kanhanga lauded US’s supportive stance which has allowed Zimbabwean communities to benefit from developmental funds despite existing political tension brought about by sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his close officials.

“It is the beginning of the thawing of relations between us and America. In as much as we are talking about sanctions, it is good something positive is happening.”

The deputy minister was speaking on the side-lines of US Embassy Small Grants signing ceremony in Harare yesterday.

US ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton said the projects played a critical role in promoting the well-being of Zimbabweans and fostering a good relationship.

“Importantly, the programme also helps to bring Americans and the people of Zimbabwe closer together. For many communities, this maybe their first introduction to the US and our positive contributions to Zimbabwe.

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