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British Ambassador Pledges More Aid to Zimbabwe

The British envoy to Zimbabwe pledged on Thursday that London will continue funding humanitarian projects in the southern African nation despite strained relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Deborah Bronnert made the promise while handing over an assortment of books to the Riverside Primary School in Gweru, Midlands province.

She said last year her country, through its Department for International Development, spent some US$140-million on humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe.

Part of the money, she said, went towards the Education Transition Fund Program, which provided textbooks for primary and secondary schools, as well as US$28 million channeled to the basic education assistance module helping over 40,000 orphans.

Ambassador Bronnert handed over 6,000 books which were sourced from Britain through a British national, Christopher Chesterham of Oxford.

Riverside Primary School headmaster Willie Mtombeni thanked expressed gratitude for the donation.

School Development Association chairman Andrew Mambure said the books would go a long way towards helping pupils improve their grades.

Meanwhile, United States based universities and colleges are intensifying their outreach to Zimbabwe, attracting over one thousand Zimbabwean students last year.

According the U.S embassy in Harare and Open Doors, an agency studying international students, Zimbabwe sent 1, 135 pupils to Washington for tertiary education in 2011, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year.

National Education Union of Zimbabwe spokesman Mathais Guchutu said the increased recruitment of students in the country was impressive, but said it posed major concern for the nation’s education sector.