2016-2020 ZUNDAF High Level Review, UN Resident Coordinator's Statement

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  • Dr. M Sibanda, Chief Secretary to President and Cabinet and your team,
  • Permanent Secretaries, ZUNDAF Co-Chairs and other Senior Government Officials
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Development Partners
  • Fellow UN Colleagues
  • Representatives of Civil Society, and Members of the Media
  • Ladies and Gentlemen:

28 June 2018, Harare - Today, we are here to reflect on progress made, at mid-point (two and half year), since the implementation of the five-year Zimbabwe United Nations Development Framework (2016-2020ZUNDAF) begun in 2016.

This framework, fully aligned to Zimbabwe’s national development priorities, is the strategic planning document that embodies the UN System’s collective contributions. At the heart of this contribution is support to the country’s drive towards the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with an emphasis on principles of equity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.

The current ZUNDAF laid the ground for moving the UN system in Zimbabwe towards ‘Delivering as One’, through One UN voice on key policies, a common advocacy platform on the 17 SDGs, and priority joint programmers, including gender equality, resilience building, youth, people living with disability, that formed the core of the ZUNDAF contribution.

The ZUNDAF was developed jointly and is co-chaired by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet with partners across ministries and localities, as well as donors and non-government partners, including civil society, NGOs, the Media and the private sector, who are a key part of the broader stakeholder groups the UN works with in Zimbabwe.

Given the emerging positive developments for re-engagement in Zimbabwe, today we hope to take stoke of the mid-point implementation of the ZUNDAF cycle with active involvement our partners present here on results, challenges, and drawing lessons for enhanced results and partnership.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The 2016-2020 ZUNDAF is guided by key development challenges highlighted during consultations with stakeholders and the Government. In this regard, the UN identified six broad priority results areas to contribute to national development. These areas of engagement frame the common results for the UN System in Zimbabwe.

Allow me to provide a few result highlights to kick-start our conversation. Through the 2016-2020 ZUNDAF, the United Nations focus has been to provide catalytic support to Zimbabwe’s recovery and development efforts with focus on six result areas:  social services and protection, food and nutrition security, HIV and AIDS poverty reduction and value addition; gender equality; good governance and public administration.

The ZUNDAF Co-Chairs will provide you with more details, let me highlight some concrete results achieved under the 2016-2020 ZUNDAF, thus far:

Social Services and Protection:

  • Rolled-out a multi-million-dollar Health Development Fund to strengthen health systems and address child and maternal health.
  • Increased enrolment of children with disabilities in primary and secondary education by 24% (from 40,226 to 49,692) and built the capacity of 51,000 school teachers, delivering 104 of 148 syllabuses to all schools nationwide.
  • Expanded harmonised social cash transfer programme, reaching approximately 300,000 people in 23 districts. Some 57,596 children have benefitted from the UN-developed national minimum standards in child protection national case management.
  • Enhanced hygiene and sanitation of approximately 300,000 people in rural and semi-urban areas

Food and Nutrition Security: over all the ZUNDAF effort has been address the growing rural-urban disparities through supporting appropriate distributive policies and local development investments through empowering small-scale agriculture:

  • Supported policies and programmes to advance agricultural growth, forestry and fisheries management and effective use of land resources.
  • Enhanced small farmers agricultural productivity, and provided targeted food assistance and nutrition to over 2.2 million people and worked towards building resilience through on and off farm opportunities to over 830, 000 targeted vulnerable people in 18 rural districts.

HIV and AIDS: Strategic focus of ZUNDAF has been mainly combating new HIV infections and renewed efforts at eradicating TB, malaria and malnutrition, through a continued emphasis on education and prevention efforts, while providing treatment, care and support to over one million living with the virus.

  • In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, supported national programmes to combat new HIV infections through education and prevention, while providing treatment, care and support to over a million-people living with the virus.

Gender Equality: our efforts have been on addressing the fundamental problems that underlie women’s limited representation in national decision-making bodies, low levels of education attainment, secondary school dropout rates, early pregnancy, child marriage and concerns around gender based violence, and unacceptably high maternal mortality.

  • Advocacy increased on addressing the fundamental problems that underlie women’s limited representation in national decision-making bodies, low levels of education attainment, secondary school dropout rates, child marriage, early pregnancy and concerns around gender based violence, and maternal mortality.

Poverty Reduction and Value Addition: focus has been on decent work and creating green jobs, especially for young people, is a must for Zimbabwe to nurture a more productive, skilled and competitive labour force as the foundations of a prosperous and stable society

  • The United Nations efforts in this sector are focused on improving the labor market and formalizing the economy to create decent green jobs. The UN supported the establishment of a Directorate in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion to enhance engagement with the diaspora for investment and promotion of remittances.
  • The National Social Protection Policy was also adopted following assistance from the UN, and leading to the allocation of USD 1.2million for a pilot Harmonized Cash Transfers (HACT) initiative using a bio-metric system.

Democratic governance and Public Administration:

  •  the United Nations - with the generous contribution from the European Union and Japan and in response to a request for assistance from the Government - has been providing technical support to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on voter registration and implement continuous registration of voters; enhance civic and voter education, and create a dynamic space for inter-party and stakeholders dialogue.
  • Similarly, the United Nations continues to support the capacity building of the key Chapter 12 institutions, including the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (you witnessed the Peace Pledge by Political Leaders and Presidential Candidates), and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to promote democracy and human rights.
  • These are key watchdog institutions that will contribute to sustaining peace and justice and in the promotion and consolidation of democracy in Zimbabwe. The United Nations, in partnership with the European Union and Sweden, has also been supporting capacity building of Parliamentarians to enhance the legislative arm of the Government.
  • Equally, continued support has been provided to the Government in administration of justice, human rights and public administration. For example, Zimbabwe participated in the Universal Periodic Review on human rights two times, and in 2016 the Government accepted over 151 recommendations and developed a four-year action plan for implementation.

The UN supported development results has been made possible largely due to the strong collaboration with the Government, particularly the Office of the President and Cabined under the leadership of Dr. Sibanda.

I would like to appreciate and thank for the leadership of Dr Sibanda and dedication of his team. I would like also to thank the line Ministries that have been working relentlessly as co-chairs of ZUNDAF result groups. Equally, our thanks go to the civil society, private sector and the media for their strong partnership.

The United Nations was able channel a total of USD 931 million (58.2%) by the end of the first quarter of 2018, of the USD 1.6 billion planned to be mobilized in the form of development projects and programmes within the 2016 - 2020 ZUNDAF.  This has been made possible with the generous support of development partners, of which the major includes: United States of America; Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; United Kingdom; European Union; Germany; Sweden; Japan; Norway; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Going forward, for the remainder of 2018 and beyond the UN will work to:

  • Forge ahead empowered by the ongoing UN reform which reinvigorates the Resident Coordinator System and enhances the agility of the UN System to support Zimbabwe achieve the SDGs.
  • Sharpen the focus of ZUNDAF as a catalytic framework to boost strategic interventions on social protection, poverty reduction and gender equality for real impact.
  • Work towards creating synergy by reinforcing development coordination, ensuring value for money,
  • Continue foster strong partnership with donors for increased Official Development Assistance to Zimbabwe, and scale-up engagement with the private sector and build on the tripartite alliance between Government, UN and private sector.
  • During the election season, the delivery of recovery and development projects and programmes must continue unabated to sustain and enhance social and development gains made in the past few years.
  • The United Nations will continue to work with an increased momentum to support Zimbabwe in its quest for economic, social and democratic transformation as well as fulfil its international commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal.

Mr. Bishow Parajuli is the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe