Nyoni says supporting people to create their own wealth is a challenge


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Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Sithembiso Nyoni said of the greatest challenges that Zimbabwe was facing was how to support people to create their own wealth.

She was speaking on the main humanitarian challenges that Zimbabwe was facing way back in 2003.

She said the other challenges were poverty alleviation, creating jobs and engaging young people.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE134, UN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

03HARARE134

2003-01-17 09:31

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000134

 

SIPDIS

 

USAID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA FOR HAJJAR, KHANDAGLE AND MARX

DCHA/FFP FOR LANDIS, BRAUSE, SKORIC AND PETERSEN

AFR/SA FOR POE, FORT AND COPSON

AFR/SD FOR ISALROW AND WHELAN

GENEVA PLEASE PASS TO UNOCHA, IFRC

STATE FOR AF/S DELISI AND RAYNOR

NAIROBI FOR DCHA/OFDA/ARO RILEY, MYER AND SMITH

REDSO/ESA/FFP FOR SENYKOFF

NSC FOR DWORKIN

PRETORIA FOR USAID/DCHA/FFP FOR DISKIN

DCHA/OFDA FOR BRYAN AND FAS FOR HELM

ROME PLEASE PASS TO FODAG

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID PREL US ZI

SUBJECT: UN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination

Meeting with the GOZ Officials and Donors

 

 

1. Summary. On Monday, January 13, the UN held its

first coordination meeting of 2003 on Zimbabwe’s

humanitarian crisis among UN agencies, donors and

Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) officials. The large

number of attendees included July Moyo, the Minister of

Social Welfare, Labor and Public Works, David

Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare,

and Sithembiso Nyoni, the Minister of Small and Medium

Enterprise Development. This meeting reflected a more

frank discussion than had occurred in past meetings on

the humanitarian issues confronting Zimbabwe and,

hopefully, laid down a number of critical agenda items

that can be discussed in greater depth in this forum

over the coming months. End Summary.

 

2. The three GOZ Ministers explained their views on

Zimbabwe’s main humanitarian challenges for 2003.

Minister Parirenyatwa listed the challenges as food

security, water availability, increased malnutrition and

disease, inadequate essential drugs and vaccines and

insufficient equipment and staff at hospitals and

clinics. Minister Nyoni listed the challenges as

poverty alleviation, creating jobs, supporting people to

create their own wealth and engaging young people.

Comment: Neither of these two Ministers mentioned the

policy environment created by the GOZ that has

contributed substantially to the humanitarian crisis and

that continues to impede efforts to address the crisis

in an effective manner. End Comment.

 

3. Minister Moyo acknowledged that the GOZ has not yet

met to discuss challenges for 2003. He stated that more

analysis needs to be conducted on the precise impacts of

the current drought and work needs to continue to refine

projections regarding agricultural production for the

season. He also stressed that logistical constraints

continued to be a problem impeding the import of

sufficient amounts of food.

 

4.   Minister Moyo then opened the door to a more frank

discussion of the humanitarian issues confronting

Zimbabwe in 2003. He insisted that the GOZ should not

shy away from the difficult issues. First, he said

there was a need to confront allegations that the

selection of beneficiaries and/or the distribution of

food was done on a partisan basis. He also asserted

that if Zimbabwe is to improve food security, then the

GOZ and donors need to look at recovery activities in

the resettlement areas, but he recognized that donors

have been reluctant to work in these areas. He also

acknowledged the need to discuss policy issues, such as

the GOZ’s monopoly in grain trading, but said that the

parties could agree to disagree.

 

5. Ambassador Sullivan and UK High Commissioner Brian

Donnelly both encouraged the Ministers present to

address the policy issues that impede progress on food

security. Also discussing the policy constraints,

European Commission Ambassador Francesca Mosca asked

innocently why the GOZ’s Grain Marketing Board (GMB)

could not simply put food in the supermarkets. Minister

Moyo responded that in urban areas food was sold through

private millers and then to supermarkets, but stated

that in an environment of scarcity, some of this food

was sold “through the back door.” Regarding rural

areas, Moyo asserted that commercial markets would not

deliver food to remote regions populated by poor people

and, therefore, the GOZ needed to institute a system of

central control to ensure that rural areas were not

denied food. Moyo also stated that this policy of

central control for food distribution to rural areas was

based on the experience of other countries from which

Zimbabwe had learned, but he did not indicate which

countries this might be.

 

6. Ambassador Sullivan and High Commissioner Donnelly

also encouraged the Ministers to take steps to address

the international perception of partisanship and

misallocations in the GOZ’s food program based on widely

reported incidents. Ambassador Sullivan specifically

indicated that the UN’s recently established Information

and Verification Unit, which was verifying the proper

distribution of international donor food, was available

to respond to similar concerns for the GOZ’s food

program. The Ministers did not respond directly to this

suggestion, but Ambassador Sullivan’s intervention laid

the groundwork for further discussion of this critical

issue.

 

7. In a follow up meeting the next evening among UN

Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator Victor Angelo,

Ambassador Sullivan and USAID Director, Paul Weisenfeld,

Angelo confirmed that he had fruitful discussions that

morning with the Ministry of Social Welfare. The

Ministry indicated a willingness to allow the UN’s

Information and Verification Unit to verify GMB food

distribution, as long as the work was done jointly with

Ministry officials. Also, the Ministry had begun to

compile a list of anticipated GMB food imports for the

next several weeks. Access to this information would

improve coordination of GOZ and donor food distribution,

particularly with respect to logistical considerations.

Equally important, this information could serve as a

basis for the work of the UN’s Information and

Verification Unit.

 

8. Ambassador Sullivan also emphasized to Angelo that

any future donor work in resettlement areas needed to be

thought through carefully and approved by major donors

in advance. Ambassador Sullivan explained that

humanitarian relief, such as food distribution, could be

defended in resettlement areas if distributed to the

most vulnerable populations with need as the operative

criterion, as long as need was established on the basis

of objective and verifiable indicators. Ambassador

Sullivan stressed, however, that most donors would not

fund agricultural recovery work in resettlement areas in

the current political and economic environment.

 

9. Comment. While the GOZ’s opening to the possibility

of UN verification of GMB food deliveries is far from

bankable, it likely reflects the GOZ’s recognition of

its inability to meet food demands or to control

leakages from the GMB system due to corruption and

diversion. Sullivan

 

(4 VIEWS)

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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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