Thursday, June 01, 2017

Zimbabwe: Sweden Avails U.S.$8 Million for Resilience Fund
By Praise Bvumbamera
Zimbabwe Herald

The Swedish government, in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has awarded an $8 million grant to the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF). The fund, led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, is meant to build resilience of households and communities in Zimbabwe from the effects of climate change, land degradation, droughts and flooding.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Harare, UN Resident coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli expressed gratitude to the Swedish embassy and UNDP for the strong partnership which will establish a robust national resilience building fund in Zimbabwe.

"I would like to appreciate this initiative by the Swedish embassy together with UNDP which is a renewed commitment contributing to sustainable use of natural resources, strengthen value chains and increase access to renewable energy in efforts to promote sustainable and resilient economic growth in Zimbabwe," said Mr Parajuli.

"We should increase our focus and investment towards building strong national resilience to ensure the integration of development and humanitarian nexus, lest our progress towards Sustainable Development Goals can be lost in an instant due to natural disasters, shocks, and stresses or completely reversed for decades by man-made crises."

Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Sophia Calltorp said the embassy believed that resilience building was essential in Zimbabwe following economic hardships and increased occurrence of extreme climatic events.

"The embassy sees resilience building as a key to all the work that it carries out," she said. "Addressing these pre-existing vulnerabilities to shocks, be they climatic, socio-economic or political, is vital in ensuring that development gains are established, maintained and built on."

Mrs Calltorp said Sweden would strive to ensure gender equality was adequately integrated into the work carried out by ZRBF, including its implementing partners and consortia, to ensure that Zimbabwean women equally benefited from the support.

Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development director of economics and markets Mr Clemence Bwenje appreciated the contribution of Sweden to the Zimbabwean Government in resilience building.

The nine districts benefiting from the fund are Binga, Umzingwane, Kariba, Mwenezi, Mbire, Umguza, Bubi, Chiredzi and Nkayi.

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