Focus of British aid to Zimbabwe


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Britain’s aid to Zimbabwe seems to have three basic aims according to that country’s aid programme for Zimbabwe.

The first is economic reform and good government. Under this aim Britain says it will provide technical assistance on issues related to the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme now renamed the Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation, including parastatal reform, privatisation, revenue generation and deregulation but it stresses that any disbursement of funds will depend on the government agreeing a programme with the International Monetary Fund and meeting early performance measures.

It will also support plans to strengthen local government and key institutions of law and order, including helping tackle the drugs problem. “We aim to build on our support for civil service management with consultancy assistance to help remove non-core functions from central government through contracting out, the creation of agencies and other ‘arms length’ arrangements”.

The second aim is opportunity and human development while the third is environment and enhancing productive capacity. Under the second aim emphasis seems to be on gender concerns which should be integrated in key activities in health, water, local government and renewable natural resources programmes. It also includes an undertaking to help in the drought relief programme and to help the government improve drought preparedness and response, information flows and coordination by government and donors.

Under the third aim, Britain says it will promote the small scale private sector through its credit and entrepreneurship training projects and will continue to develop renewable natural resources projects to assist communities in dryland communal farmers. It will also increase access to water in poor areas but will emphasise community participation in the planning, operation and maintenance of these projects.

” We are reviewing our policy on assistance to resettlement, where we have an outstanding commitment and where the developmental benefits are potentially high. If the policy environment where right we should finance land purchase on a ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ basis, and help with resettlement,” the document which is now two years old, but was still circulated last month, says.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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