via Aid framework under review — Chinamasa – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 7, 2015
FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa has said the government will review the aid co-ordination architecture to ensure that aid flows effectively in the country.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on review of Aid Co-ordination Architecture in Harare yesterday, Chinamasa said there was need to ensure transparency in the way aid was channelled and used.
“The government recognises the shortfalls and constraints in the existing institutional framework for aid co-ordination and is committed to reviewing the aid co-ordination architecture,” he said.
“This effort is to make us move in a transparent manner in terms of the way that aid assistance is channelled and the purposes to which that aid is being used.”
Chinamasa said development assistance played a crucial role in attaining socioeconomic development as enshrined in ZimAsset.
“A well-co-ordinated and effectively managed external assistance framework is of vital importance in complementing government efforts to realise Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socioeconomic Transformation objectives,” he said.
“We desire that all grant flows are channelled towards supporting the achievement of our national priorities, as articulated in our National Development Plan.”
Chinamasa said the government could not guarantee that there would be no abuse.
“But at least under this undertaking, if there is abuse we will not hesitate to take the steps necessary to bring those responsible to book,” he said.
“On our part, when the development assistance is received by us, we have an obligation to say thank you because it fills a financing gap. But as I have said before, I cannot say thank you if I don’t know where the assistance has gone, whether it has arrived, if we need it or if it is playing a transformative role in the economy.”
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli said the absence of a well-functioning development co-operation mechanism not only prevented the realisation of enabling factors for development, but also constrained the government’s ability to ensure alignment of donor resources to national priorities.
“A structured government-led dialogue among stakeholders, including the government, donors, civil society and the private sector, could greatly promote transparency, build trust among the stakeholders and reduce the potential for misunderstandings over strategies, policies and actions,” Parajuli said.
He acknowledged that Zimbabwe was experiencing challenges that included a liquidity crisis, decline in the manufacturing sector as well as a very tight fiscal space.
“The tight fiscal space has serious negative spillover effects on public service delivery and its consequences on people’s health, education support and promotion of agriculture, employment and overall poverty,” Parajuli said.