THE World Bank (WB) and several other partners have set up the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund to support the implementation of the country’s five-year economic blueprint, ZimAsset.
The fund is expected to raise up to $100 million from donors in a development expected to stimulate investment in the country.
Speaking at a Press conference yesterday, WB country director for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe Kundhavi Kadiresan said the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund replaced the Zimbabwe Analytical Multi-Donor Fund.
“We are starting a new fund, Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund. This trust fund will expand bank’s support to include investment projects, and to channel some financing directly through government systems,” she said.
“Contributions coming from many development partners, the amount is close to $40 million committed and the figure will increase in the coming year
to $100 million.”
Donors that are contributing to the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund include the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden and the World Bank State and the Peace Building Fund.
Kadiresan said the Zimbabwe Analytical Multi-Donor Fund that was established in 2008 ended this year.
She said over $22 million was spent on policy assistance, technical assistance, information systems and analytical studies that have helped to strengthen dialogue with the government through the multi-fund.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the relationship between Zimbabwe and the WB had been growing with the multilateral institution working together with government on sectors such as agriculture, health, social safety and public finance management over the years.
“What I welcome about the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund is the flexibility that it is going to give me to tackle some of the urgent reform measures that I want to address. These are in the areas of parastatal reforms. As a first step to parastatals reform, we must know what these animals are, otherwise any reform not guided by facts is a witch hunt. I don’t want to be involved in a witch hunt,” Chinamasa said.
“Under the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund, $15 million will be made readily available to carry out this audit next year. We will start with the strategic ones and then the less strategic ones.”
He added that local authorities would also be audited.
The WB executive board approved the a $75 million grant for the Kariba Dam wall rehabilitation with co-financing of $25 million coming from the government of Sweden.
In addition, the African Development Bank will provide $75 million and the European Union $100 million, for a total project financing of $300 million.
Chinamasa said the total cost for the rehabilitation of Kariba was $295 million.