Zim, EU sign $270m deal

HARARE - Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU) yesterday signed a $270 million financing deal for the National Indicative Programme (Nip), targeted at supporting socio-economic projects in the country over the next six years.

Philippe Van Damme, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, said half of the amount will be availed by year-end.

“We look forward to working in all the strategic and important areas covered by this Nip, with the aim to foster the political and economic reforms Zimbabwe is undertaking,” he said.

The EU and government anticipate the formulation of projects worth over $182 million by year end.

This comes as Zimbabwe last received direct aid from the EU about 13 years ago.

“We have three main sectors of concentration, which is political and economic governance; mainly finance management with the economic side and constitutional alignment. We also concentrate on agriculture and health,” said Van Damme.

The three sectors are health, which will receive $100 million, agriculture another $100 million while governance and institution building will get $51 million.

The Nip is a joint framework between government and the EU that will guide the formulation and implementation of projects funded by the 11th EDF country allocation to Zimbabwe.

Last year, the EU lifted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe 13 years ago on allegations of human rights abuses.

The move paved way for the union to resume aid to hard pressed Zimbabwe.

In 2002, the EU suspended bilateral co-operation with Zimbabwe and had been channelling all humanitarian support to the country through non-governmental organisations.

Last year, the EU indicated that it would from 2015 start a $300 million five-year funding programme to support Zimbabwe’s health, agriculture and governance initiatives.

Zimbabwe requires approximately $27 billion, more than double the size of its economy, to fund an ambitious five-year economic plan, ZimAsset — targeted at improving basic services, food security and infrastructure rehabilitation.

 

Comments (4)

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herber - 17 February 2015

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