The European Union today announced a €23 million programme to improve people’s access to health services in Zimbabwe.
Visiting EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, who met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and will visit EU funded projects, said this was an indication that the European Union was ready to accelerate support for Zimbabwe.
"I am here to show to the Zimbabwean people and authorities that the EU stands ready to accelerate its support to their transition towards democracy and prosperity. I am also happy to launch new EU support programmes for a total amount of €23 million in the area of health and job creation. As Zimbabwe opens a new chapter in its history, we are putting our trust in the authorities to seize this unique opportunity and address the political and economic challenges in the country," Mimica said.
The bulk of the funding (€20.6 million) will be dedicated to ensuring equitable access to quality health services for women and children.
The EU and its member states have provided about €2 billion to support Zimbabwe’s development over the past 15 years.
Between 2002 and 2014, direct EU cooperation with Zimbabwe's government was suspended due to serious violations of human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.
EU development assistance was, however, directed through non-governmental channels to the people of Zimbabwe.
Direct cooperation was resumed in November 2014 and some €234 million will be provided between 2014 and 2020.
EU aid focusses on three key areas:
· Health (€88 million),
· Agriculture-based economic development (€88 million) and
· Governance and institution building (€58 million).