MAPUTO, The Mozambican government has received 25 fire engines from the Republic of Korea (ROK) to help improve the fire service’s ability to respond to emergencies.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony here Thursday, the Permanent Secretary in the Interior Ministry, Zefanias Muhate, stated that the fire trucks would be immediately distributed among the country’s eleven provinces. He stressed: “The equipment received today will be an essential tool to increase the capacity of the Fire Brigade.”

This is the fruit of an agreement signed in 2015, under which the ROK offered the government a soft loan of five million US dollars to acquire fire engines through its Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).

The representative of the Korean Eximbank, Jae Moon, stated that the equipment, worth four million USD, was purchased through a compact loan through EDCF. “The compact loan is different from other loans in that it has simpler procedures which allowed for the rapid conclusion of the project,” he added.

He added that the Korean Eximbank would always be attentive to the requirements of the Mozambican government in order to achieve improved co-operation.

ROK Ambassador to Mozambique Heung Kim highlighted the fact that Mozambique is one of his country’s main co-operation partners in sub-Saharan Africa. He pointed out that, of the 28 countries in the region, Mozambique receives the second highest level of support.

The ambassador added that in 2014, the ROK government had funded a project in the southern cities of Maputo and Matola to modernise the management and control of the emergency services and that this project is currently being expanded into other provinces.