via $3bln needed to fight poverty annually 05/11/2013 by The Source
ZIMBABWE will need to invest about $3 billion annually if it is to reduce poverty by 50 percent by the end of the year 2015 under the Millennium Development Goals, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) official has said.
About 62 percent of Zimbabwe’s 13 million population is classified as poor, according to official statistics.
In the rural areas, the average consumption per person per month stands at $4,70, compared to $87 for people in urban areas according to a 2011 report on poverty by the national statistics agency.
Zimbabwe currently has a target to spend at least $600 million on poverty reduction programmes, but has failed to meet it due to its poor economic performance over the last decade, said Udo Etukudo, the UNDP economic adviser in Zimbabwe.
“It is common knowledge that most African countries will fail to meet their millennium development goals by 2015 and what is important now is for African governments to begin to refocus on mistakes of the previous MDGs,” Etukudo told journalists attending an International Labour Organisation workshop in Nyanga.
He said there had been notable economic growth in the country between 2009 and 2012, although economic development was lagging behind.
“Industrialisation is on the decline in Zimbabwe, especially those companies which were established after 1980. Job creation is not really taking shape.
“What we are seeing now is the emergence of new industries, for instance the information and communication technology and the small to medium enterprises, special skills and techniques,” he said.
Etukudo said poverty reduction remained a great challenge to most African governments especially those in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We have an economic growth of around six and half percent in Africa including Zimbabwe, but the majority of the people remain poor,” he said.