UN development aid

UN gives Zim US$1,6bn in development aid

The Daily News - Helen Kadirire  

28 November 2015

HARARE - The United Nations (UN) is contributing more than US$1 billion in humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe over the next five years, making it one of the largest donors.

The US$1,6 billion, under the Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework (Zundaf) 2016-2020, will help provide food and nutrition, security, gender equality, HIV and Aids interventions, poverty reduction , value addition, public administration, governance and social services and protection, the world body said.

This comes as around 1,5 million Zimbabweans are predicted to go hungry this year after a dramatic fall in maize production, the World Food Programme (WFP) has said, with some 16 percent of the population projected to be “food insecure” at the peak of the 2015-16 lean season.

Zimbabwe’s staple maize crop of 742,000 tonnes is down 53 percent from 2014-15, according to data from the South African Development Community.

Speaking at the review of the 2012-2015 programme that will expire on December 31, deputy chief secretary to the president and Cabinet Justin Mupamhanga, said Zimbabwe’s engagement with Zundaf has seen a lot of developmental assistance through financial and technical support.

“There has been a one-third decline in the maternal mortality rate, a doubling of the immunisation rate for children, a progressive and people-driven national Constitution, a 1:1 pupil-to-textbook ratio for over 2,5 million school children, doubling of women in Parliament to 35 percent, and a reduction of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by more than half to under 9 percent,” Mupamhanga said.

He said UN agencies should fully adopt the “Delivering as One” agenda to strengthen coherence and efficiency of UN supported programmes.

UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative, Bishow Parajuli, said the support extended to Zimbabwe will enable the country to achieve national development priorities and international commitments.  

Parajuli said through the outgoing 2012-2015 Zundaf, the UN has contributed to seven national priority areas among them good governance, food security, universal access to HIV prevention, pro-poor sustainable growth and economic development and access to quality basic social services.

“While recognising the need to maintain the current level of official development assistance to Zimbabwe, the on-going engagement between the government and international financial institutions as well as the reform to enhance the ease-of-doing-business and attract foreign direct investment currently underway will contribute to achieving sustainable social and economic growth,” Parajuli said.