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Kenya pledges to donate US$1 million worth of maize to Zimbabwe

Kenyan President William Ruto in Zimbabwe to officially open ZITF

Kenya has pledged to donate US$1 million worth of maize to Zimbabwe to help the southern African country alleviate a severe shortage of the staple caused by the El Nino-induced drought.

Speaking during the signing of eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between Kenya and Zimbabwe under the 4th Zimbabwe/Kenya Joint Permanent Commission on Co-operation, at State House in Bulawayo on Saturday, Kenyan President William Ruto said climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods globally, especially Africa.

He called upon all countries, particularly the developed world, to meet their obligations and commitments under the Paris Agreement and other multilateral environmental agreements.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change which aims to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Ruto also pleaded with the international community to respond to the declaration of a State of Disaster in Zimbabwe. He said (via The Sunday News):

I wish to express Kenya’s solidarity with Zimbabwe in the face of the prolonged El Nino-induced drought that has left a severe food and humanitarian crisis in the Southern African region.

We call upon the international community to respond to the declaration you made on the State of Disaster in Zimbabwe following the El Nino-induced drought.

On its part, Kenya is committing to deliver US$1 million worth of food items, particularly maize to the people of Zimbabwe in the next few weeks.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa had earlier thanked his Kenyan counterpart for the maize donation. Speaking during the banquet hosted in honour of Ruto on Friday night at the State House in Bulawayo, Mnangagwa said:

Over the past four decades, Zimbabwe and Kenya have fostered synergies across various sectors of the economy.

I was briefing my younger brother (President Ruto) about the drought situation here, and by the way, they have no drought in Kenya because they are near the Equator.

When I told my dear brother that we have drought he donated 30 000 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe. Thank you, and that is what brothers do to each other.

During the declaration of a State of Disaster, Mnangagwa said the country needs over US$2 billion to address the food shortage.

On 03 April 2024, Mnangagwa officially declared the El Niño-induced drought, which severely impacted the 2023/24 summer cropping season, as a state of disaster.

The declaration aims to mobilize resources and prevent the looming threat of widespread starvation.

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