GNU successes bear fruit: Salama

The international community no longer views Zimbabwe as a security threat and is willing to fund local projects prompted by government’s successful initiatives on various programmes, an envoy has said.

The EFT has seen thousands of books placed in primary schools around the country
The EFT has seen thousands of books placed in primary schools around the country

Since the formation of the inclusive government, Zimbabweans have witnessed the implementation of the Education Transition Fund phase one, which distributed learning material and textbooks to all primary schools. Phase two will soon roll out textbooks to all secondary schools. The recently launched Health Transition Fund will provide optimal care in the health sector.

The United Nations Children Educational Fund country representative, Dr Peter Salama, admitted international donors were hesitant at first to pour in aid, especially in 2008, because they viewed the country as a security risk.

“The only projects the international community was willing to fund were short term. They were not willing to take risk, venture into long term projects or support government plans,” he said.

“For example no donors were interested in supporting the education sector but that has changed. In a space of two years, we in conjunction with government have managed to secure 14 partners and came up with a budget of $50 million to launch the ETF which has yielded good results. The HTF will be up and running with a budget of $436 million dollars over the next four years,” he said.

Commenting on fears that the United Nations coffers maybe running dry and what effect that would have on member states like Zimbabwe, Salama said those fears emanated from global recession affecting the European Union and the United States, but Zimbabwe was in good shape to weather the storm.

“As you will know with the financial crisis happening in the West such fears are bound to arise because they are the major funders, but I don’t see the effects hitting Zimbabwe soon. She is relatively protected. The donors are still here working and implementing these projects that we are launching,” he said.

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