THE United States Agency for International Development, USAid, says Washington has approved a new five-year strategy for its mission in Zimbabwe, which includes helping the government make evidence-based decisions on economic policy reforms.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Of its $167 million annual portfolio funds to Zimbabwe, about 10% goes to economic recovery programmes.
Speaking to NewsDay on the side lines of the commemorations of World Humanitarian day in Harare last week, USAid Zimbabwe mission director, Stephanie Funk, said they will implement the new strategy when the fiscal year begins in October.
“We just got a new five-year strategy approved by Washington, so starting in October, we are going to be running under the new strategy, in our new fiscal year. We are closing one of our programmes that works on policy reform with the government, so in October we are going to start a new programme. I cannot talk about it yet, as it is under a procurement processes and is sensitive,” she said.
“We will have an implementing partner that will work with the government, civil society and private sector to identify areas of research on economic policy reform. This research will help the government make evidence-based decisions on what best to do to improve the economic situation in the
Funk could not reveal further details, as USAid was approaching the end of its fiscal year in September.
The 10% or the remainder of USAid’s annual portfolio is after 61% that goes to health, 26% for humanitarian assistance and agriculture, and 10% for democracy and governance.
For a long time, Zimbabwe’s donors have been supporting crucial systems of the economy that include providing technical support towards economic policy reforms.
UN resident co-ordinator, Bishow Parajuli said the challenge that the United Nations Development Programme faced in helping government was policy inconsistency.
“The economy constitutes many things, such as the right policies and government capacities to manage and formulate those policies. In a broader sense, in the broader UN families World Bank and the IMF [International Monetary Fund], they are partly leading that process,” he said.
“From the UN side, UNDP is involved in a number of policies that include a programme on judicial reform, alignment of laws, and issues related to attracting investment.”
Parajuli said the government had to expedite its commitments, which it made in Lima, Peru, to the multi-lateral partners to improve its image.
Last year, Zimbabwe pledged to clear its combined $1,8 billion arrears to the World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank, as a step towards unlocking cheap lines of credit.