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State helping drought-affected people – Veep

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says Government is doing its best to help people who are at risk of starvation due to drought in some parts of the country.
And the International Islamic Relief Organisation of Southern Africa (IIROSA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says it is ready to help Zambia with relief food.
Speaking when IIROSA regional director for Southern Africa Sheikh Walid el Saadi paid a courtesy call on her in Lusaka yesterday, Mrs Wina said Government is grappling with challenges posed by the effects of El Nino but is up to the task of assisting the vulnerable people.
“Majority of our people are being exposed to poverty due to partial drought experienced during the 2014-2015 season in the southern part of the country. And this season, too, rain has been sporadic,” Mrs Wina said.
She said relations between Zambia and Saudi Arabia are warm and cordial.
“Saudi Arabia has been a friend of Zambia and recently our First Lady was in your country at the invitation of the King. Saudi Arabia has assisted us in numerous humanitarian areas,” Mrs Wina said.
The Vice-President said the IIROSA officials have visited Zambia at a time when the country is experiencing difficulties due to the effects of poor weather.
And Mr el Saadi said he will report to his office on the urgent need of relief food to the affected people.
Mr el Saadi said IIROSA will urgently come up with action the moment Zambia furnishes it with details of the number of people in need of assistance.
“Our mandate is to serve the under-privileged and the poor in southern Africa. When your First Lady visited Saudi Arabia, we discussed a number of areas of assistance, especially in the medical field,” Mr el Saadi said.
He also said his organisation is ready to provide a mobile clinic to cater for the needs of the rural population should the Zambian government sanction.
“We want to provide health services to poor people in rural areas through a mobile clinic should your Government accept that offer. We also want to conduct cataract operations,” Mr el Saadi said.
He also said IIROSA takes care of orphans in a number of countries and would like to do the same in Zambia.
“Children are the future of the nation. We have to save them from the street so they don’t become criminals tomorrow,” Mr el Saadi said.