ChannelZim

UN raises $400mln for development aid in 2016, surpasses target by $77mln

Thursday, 30 March 2017  CHANNELZIM

HARARE – The United Nations on Wednesday said it had raised $403 million from donors for Zimbabwe in 2016, surpassing its money mobilisation target for 2016 by $77 million, an official said on Wednesday.

The global agency raised the funds under a five year plan which targets to improve agriculture, food security, health and governance.

Under its Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework, the UN will provide financial support to the country of $1,6 billion between 2016 and 2020.

UN resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli told journalists that the UN mobilised $403 million from a target of $326 million in 2016.

The U.N. has over the last decade taken a prominent role in raising money for humanitarian and development aid to Zimbabwe after the West withheld direct budget support in 2002 over policy differences with veteran President Robert Mugabe.

Western donors like United States and European Union funnel financial aid through charities and the U.N., leaving Zimbabwe to fund its budget from taxes because it does not qualify for international credit due to a foreign debt of $9 billion.

“In context of drought response we worked together with our development partners and the government and we mobilised $215 million…We are working towards building a drought resilient society,” said Parajuli.

Parajuli added that the UN has aso mobilised $10 million towards the government’s $200 million international appeal for aid to repair the country’s infrastructure which was damaged by floods.

According to official data, the heavy rains have killed almost 250 people, left about 2,000 people homeless, and displaced around 900 people. About 72 dams around the country are also reported to have burst because of the floods.

ZUNDAF targets to raise $326 million this year but Parajuli said that target is likely to be surpassed.

Chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Misheck Sibanda said ZUNDAF will this year shift focus from humanitarian issues to developmental issues and mobilise investment into the country.

The country remains a foreign direct investment (FDI) leper.  FDI declined from $399.2 million in 2015, to $254.7 million in 2016, reflecting low foreign investor sentiment in the country owing to the poor operating environment, policy inconsistency and unfavorable investment policies. - TheSource



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