World Bank keen on continued engagement with Zim

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Harare (New Ziana) – The World Bank has pledged to continue fostering good working relations with the Zimbabwe government as part of its efforts to assist Harare turn around its economic fortunes.
The global lender said this in a statement announcing the appointment and commencement of assignment of new World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe Marjorie Mpundu.
The bank said Mpundu, a Zambian national, will prioritise developing and implementing the Bank’s engagement strategy in Zimbabwe, through technical assistance and trust-funded activities, which includes support for Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 response.
She will also maintain and enhance good working relations with the government and all stakeholders.
Commenting on her appointment, Mpundu said Zimbabwe, like other countries, continued to bear the impact of COVID-19 and required strategic support to save lives, protect livelihoods and enhance economic growth.
“Thus, our work through technical and financial assistance will seek to respond to these diverse challenges while contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction, with emphasis on post-COVID recovery,” she said.
Mpundu, who has a legal background, has gained vast experience working for the World Bank which she joined in 2005 as a legal associate.
She has since held various positions in legal covering Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, including as decentralized senior counsel in Australia and in Kenya.
Recently, she was the senior strategy and operations officer in the office of the vice president for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Meanwhile, the World Bank said it was currently administering the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (ZIMREF) that was established in 2014 to strengthen the country’s systems for reconstruction and development. ZIMREF has multi-sectoral projects that support the business environment, gender, education, public financial management, climate change, state owned enterprises and poverty monitoring.
“The $150 million World Bank Country portfolio also includes the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project, the Health Sector Development Project and the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project. The portfolio also includes the IFC’s advisory programs, namely the Victoria Falls Tourism Destination Program, Health Care Quality Assurance Assessment and Zimbabwe Warehouse Receipts Program,” the Bank said.
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