CIDA leaving Zim

The Canadian International Development Agency is set to wind down its bilateral programming in Zimbabwe by March 31, 2014.

Last week, the Canadian embassy hosted a farewell event in Harare where several civil society organisations were notified of the latest developments.

CIDA Zimbabwe Public Affairs Coordinator, Sylvia Sanyanga, said although no new bilateral programming would be undertaken, Zimbabwe remained eligible for Canadian assistance.

“Zimbabwe remains eligible for assistance provided through multilateral organisations and Canadian non governmental organisations and will continue to benefit from the pan-African regional programme,” she said. “All existing contractual commitments will be honored and Canada will still actively consider humanitarian requests during emergency appeals launched by international organisations such as the United Nations.” The purpose of the Canadian government’s deficit reduction plan was to find inefficiencies in government operations and achieve greater effectiveness in the government’s programmes and services.

To facilitate this task, the government carried out a review of departmental spending over the last year and identified about $5.2 billion in ongoing savings.

“These targeted savings of $319 million are to be fully realised by March 31, 2014 hence the decision to wind down CIDA’s direct country to country bilateral development assistance,” said Sanyanga.

Since 2000, Canada has not offered funding to the government of Zimbabwe directly but it has maintained its development assistance programme that works with local and Canadian civil society organisations in the areas of HIV/AIDS, poverty alleviation, governance, and gender equality.

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