Zimbabwe + 1 more

Swedish Government gives US$6 million to UNICEF to support Zimbabwe’s social sectors

HARARE, 25 June, 2015 – Today the Swedish Government contributed US$6 million through UNICEF to support the Government in its continued efforts to revive the social sectors.

This latest allocation, through UNICEF, is part of the on-going financial support availed by the Swedish Government in support of UNICEF’s country programme for 2012-2015. It brings to US$31.7 million the total amount the Swedish Government has given to UNICEF through it’s thematic funds to date.

“With the allocation of these resources through UNICEF, a lot of positive results can be achieved in Zimbabwe, “said Ms. Maria Selin, Head of Development Cooperation, at the Swedish Embassy “Sweden remains committed to assisting the Government of Zimbabwe in the continues revitalization of the social sectors.”

Since 2011 these country specific thematic funds have supported in the resuscitation of the health, education, social protection and water and sanitation sectors in Zimbabwe. The results are evident in the 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), which shows that maternal mortality has reduced from 960/100,000 live births (2009) to 614/100,000 live births (2014); under 5 mortality reduced from 94/1,000 live births (2009) to 75/1,000 live births (2014). Full immunization coverage increased from 37% (2009) to 69% (2014); use of improved drinking water sources increased from 72.8% (2009) to 76.1% (2014).

“This contribution by the Swedish Government will go a long way in making the Government realise its human development goals,” said Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Honourable Prisca Mupfumira. “This money will assist needy segments of our population through various interventions under the UNICEF programming agenda.”

This US$6 million contribution will cover various shortfalls in the four areas of WASH, health, nutrition, and HIV until the end of 2015. The funds will fill the financial gaps in the urban WASH programme; fund additional stocks of Antiretroviral drugs for children; strengthen health systems; and improve nutrition in Zimbabwe.

However, challenges in the allocation of resources towards the social sectors remain a great challenge, resulting in Government relying heavily on the donor funding to support the social sectors.

“If Zimbabwe is to continue on this path of progress, and sustain the gains it has made, Government must come up with long term sustainable solutions to ensure that social sectors receive the prioritization they deserve,” said UNICEF Representative, Reza Hossaini.

Swedish thematic funds are a flexible source of funding which play a critical role in ensuring programme targets that remain unfunded through other resources are funded. Without this intervention, critical milestones which may have been achieved in the various social sectors will be reversed.

For more information, contact:

Victor Chinyama, Chief of Communication, UNICEF. Tel: 0772124268 Email: vchinyama@unicef.org