Zimbabwe gets $430 million from UN

via Zimbabwe gets $430 million from UN | The Source November 26, 2013

Zimbabwe will this year receive $430 million from United Nations agencies in development assistance, ranking it among the largest aid recipients in Africa, UN official said on Tuesday.

The southern African country has been under Western imposed sanctions for over a decade on allegations of democracy and rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe. This has seen the country fail to attract meaningful investment and aid agencies have remained the source of foreign currency by funding aid and development projects.

The UN pumped $426 million into Zimbabwe in 2012 under a three-year Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (Zundaf) to fund agriculture, health and environment projects.

“The UN agencies are expected to deliver approximately $430 million by end of the year. This effectively makes the UN’s programme in Zimbabwe one of the biggest in Africa,” the resident coordinator, Alain Noudehou told stakeholders attending a meeting on Tuesday.

Noudehou said poverty remained high in the country with rampant youth unemployment while economic recovery remained fragile.

Last month, the African Development Bank said Zimbabwe was facing a maize deficit of over one million metric tonnes following poor harvests while the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that at least 2.2 million people will require food assistance until next year’s harvest.

Noudehou said the government has to make its new economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) functional to jumpstart the economy.

“I am highlighting some of these key challenges because they are critical and require urgent action,” Noudehou said.

Deputy chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Ray Ndhlukula called for the alignment of the UN programme with ZimAsset “to ensure that there is no programming disjuncture between government’s thrust and Zundaf.”

Government is looking to finance ZimAsset with revenue from mainly diamonds, and is exploring financing options  from Brazil, Russian, India, China and South Africa under the BRICS umbrella.