Mugabe accepts UN offer for help

LIVES LOST: Zimbabwe reportedly has the health system of a country at war and a raging cholera epidemic has claimed almost 4 000 lives. Cicra 2009. Pic. Unknown.
LIVES LOST: Zimbabwe reportedly has the health system of a country at war and a raging cholera epidemic has claimed almost 4 000 lives. Cicra 2009. Pic. Unknown.

HARARE - A top UN aid official said she had held positive talks with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe about finding ways to combat a raging cholera epidemic and food shortages, state media said yesterday.

HARARE - A top UN aid official said she had held positive talks with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe about finding ways to combat a raging cholera epidemic and food shortages, state media said yesterday.

Catherine Bragg, the assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, on Monday met with Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. She said her five-member team was focusing on the cholera epidemic that has so far killed 3806 people and spilled into neighbouring countries.

"We are focusing on cholera and any other form of humanitarian assistance the UN can offer . We will assist to the best of our abilities," she said, according to The Herald newspaper.

"During the meeting with Mugabe, we talked of the continuing partnership between the UN and the government. The president spoke positively. He invited me back," she said.

Bragg said she had met ministers of labour, education, health, agriculture and foreign affairs, as well as aid agencies working in the country.

Zimbabwe's shattered economy has made it that much harder to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in the country.

A report issued last week by Doctors Without Borders said the country had the health system of a country at war. The country's people depend on aid. - Sapa-AFP

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