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EU members pledge to raise $70m for Zimbabwe

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Member countries within the European Union (EU) have pledged to raise $70 million for humanitarian assistance in water and energy generation because they were the neediest sectors.
Speaking at an ambassadors’ briefing with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, German ambassador, Albrecht Conze: “Germany is at the forefront of mobilising resources and has pledged $25 million towards water and energy generation, which we believe are the sectors in need,” said Conze. “It is our hope that before the end of the year we would have raised $70 million collectively.”
Conze said the funds would be distributed through the Multi- Donor Trust Fund.
The Multi-Donor Trust was set up between Zimbabwe, the World Bank, the African Development Corporation and the UNDP to manage funds from donors as the international community is still skeptical of the sincerity of partners in the inclusive government.
Conze said in the last three years, Western countries managed to mobilise between $600 million and $800 million through humanitarian assistance.
Figures released by the Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) early this month showed that nearly 1,7 million Zimbabweans would require food assistance in the 2010/11 season despite the recent recovery of the country’s troubled agriculture sector.
United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray last week announced a $10 million increase in funding under the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) in the 2011 budget.
Under the Pepfar programme the number of people receiving anti-retroviral drugs in Zimbabwe increased this year to 59 000 from 40 000 in 2009.

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