EU unveils funding for health and ZEC

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Harare (New Ziana) – The European Union (EU) on Monday extended a Euro 47 million financial package to support strategic activities of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and also the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in its work.

The funding is part of the overall EU envelope amounting to Euro 148 million allocated to Zimbabwe under the 2021-2027 Multi Annual Indicative Programme.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the two financing agreements consisted of one on Improving Health Outcomes for the Population of Zimbabwe (EUR 41 million, approximately US$40 million), and Support to the Zimbabwean Electoral Process (EUR 6 million, approximately US$5.9 million).

“The Improving Health Outcomes for the Population of Zimbabwe support will be channelled through the newly established Health Resilience Fund (HRF), a successor to the Health Development Fund (HDF).

“The Project will be implemented by Government, Ministry of Health and Child Care and UNICEF, and has the objective of saving lives, with a strategic focus on leaving no one behind, targeting the most vulnerable in society, as well as, strengthening health delivery systems and the sector’s preparedness against emerging diseases,” he said.

“The continued support to our health sector by the EU and Development Partners is commendable and has been key in strengthening our healthcare service delivery and our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country remains focused at achieving the highest standard of health care delivery and to attain high quality of life for all its citizens. We are cognisant of the fact that on our own we might not be able to achieve this aspiration, hence the importance of forging strong partnerships with key stakeholders including Development Partners like the European Union.”

On the other hand, the support offered to ZEC, Ncube said, would contribute to the consolidation of democracy and peace, inclusion, participation and representation of women, youth and persons with disabilities in democratic processes.

“The support comes at an opportune time when the Government is prioritising the strengthening of good governance in order to foster economic development. Globally, it has been acknowledged that building institutional capacities is critical for economic growth and development.”

Speaking at the same event, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Jobst von Kirchmann said the new funding would build on the successes of the HDF and also help strengthen the capacity of ZEC.

“Strengthening the capacity of independent commissions to deliver on their mandates is one of the strategies of the NDS-1. Thus, the EU support will contribute to enhancing the institutional and technical capacity of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to fulfil its mandate,” he said.

ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba as well as Health and Child Care deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro attended the signing ceremony.

Chigumba said previous EU funding had enabled ZEC to undertake various capacity building programmes.

“We appreciate the unwavering support from the EU towards democratisation of electoral processes through the ZIM-ECO capacity building project. For example, the ZIM-ECO project is very instrumental in assisting us with our multi-party liaison committees; instead of holding them towards elections we now hold them periodically, in fact four times a year.

“The Zim-ECO project is also instrumental in supporting various and important polling processes. Support from the outgoing project went towards the delimitation exercise which we are at the tail end of, and I know that the incoming finance will be able to assist us with the harmonised elections next year,” she said.

New Ziana

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