SA donates R10m in aid to Congo
Johannesburg - The department of international relations has donated R10m in aid to victims of the explosion in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, a charity group said on Wednesday.
Gift of the Givers chairperson Imtiaz Sooliman said the money would be used to buy food, tents, blankets, water purification tablets, clothing, energy supplements, detergents and disinfectants for people in the city.
"[The department]... has made R10m available for this humanitarian aid package, including the sponsorship of two Iluyshin-76 aircraft with the joint capacity for 70 tons of supplies," he said in a statement.
"The items purchased will augment the R8m supplies already provided by Gift of the Givers and will be selected in a manner to avoid duplication, add what's 'missing' and double up what's still very necessary."
Sooliman said people in Brazzaville still needed urgent medical care and supplies.
"We have decided to make this intervention in the military hospital, where full co-operation and unrestricted access was granted to our teams."
This was the second time the department had helped an African country "in distress" within the past six months, he said.
The department contributed R4m in aid to the Somalia famine in October.
The first aid plane to Congo is scheduled to leave on April 1.
Over 200 people died when a munitions dump in the city exploded on March 4.
Sooliman said thousands suffered severe burns and major trauma. Some had to have amputations.
"Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, represents a war zone with thousands of homes, businesses and two churches destroyed," according to a statement posted on the charity's Facebook page.