[UN Resident Coordinator's Statement] on 2013 ZUNDAF High Level Annual Review Meeting

On behalf of the United Nations Country Team, I am pleased to welcome you to the Second High Level Annual Review of the 2012-2015 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework – ZUNDAF.

First, please allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Zimbabwe for its strong partnership in the implementation of the ZUNDAF.

From the outset, I would also like to recognize the excellent collaboration and support from the development partners who have generously provided resources for the achievement of concrete results under the overall framework of the ZUNDAF.

Today, in reviewing the ZUNDAF for year 2013, I am confident that results will show how our collective actions have continued to positively impact the lives of Zimbabweans.

Our ZUNDAF is a comprehensive development framework that guides the work of all UN Agencies in Zimbabwe. It is informed by national development priorities and designed in a flexible manner so it can adjust to the dynamic nature of the development context in Zimbabwe.

During the first two years of implementation of the ZUNDAF, we have seen active and growing collaboration with all of you in pursuing results under the following main themes:

1. Sustainable and Pro-Poor Economic Growth;
2. Quality Basic Social Services for All;
3. Good Governance for Sustainable Development;
4. Food Security & Agriculture;
5. Environmental Sustainability;
6. HIV & AIDS; and
7. Gender Equality.

Today, against each of these areas, we will collectively assess the progress made, and determine how best to improve on these going forward.

This is an opportune moment to ask ourselves if our collective efforts are being translated into results that truly transform the lives of the most vulnerable people. 

Are we working in a manner that is inclusive and sustainable? 

Despite our best intentions, it is important to remind ourselves that poverty remains very high:

  • We continue to lose mothers to preventable pregnancy related complications,
  • Food insecurity and malnutrition continues to affect a significant number of people,
  • Unemployment remains high - particularly among the youth,
  • HIV & AIDS rates also remain high, although improving, and
  • The economic recovery remains fragile.

I am highlighting some of these key challenges because they are critical and require urgent action. I am also highlighting them because working together we have a better chance to address them.

As you know, United Nations agencies are at their best when we work together in a coordinated and coherent manner. The UN is also at its best when it operates under the principle of national ownership and in close collaboration with, and strong support from, all development partners.

Without anticipating on our upcoming discussions, there are several underlying principles that have been key to our progress. We will need to continue to emphasize these going forward: 

As you know, the Government recently launched a 5 year national economic development blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).

The review today will allow us to determine how best to implement the ZUNDAF in support of evolving national priorities.  And, at the same time, ensure that the ZUNDAF continues to espouse globally agreed goals, such as the MDGs, as well as international norms and principles.

As I said earlier, the ZUNDAF was designed at a strategic level, and provides us with an agile framework that can effectively be aligned and adjusted.

Robust monitoring and evaluation is an integral part of the ZUNDAF. What we are reviewing today is based on a solid methodology, informed by the results of Planning, Mid-Year and Annual consultations.

Coherent implementation of the ZUNDAF has led to a strengthened ability to communicate and advocate for development results and the Millennium Development Goals.

This includes, most recently, UN Day Celebrations in Chitungwiza on the issue of Maternal Health. This, and other advocacy efforts, create stronger partnerships and generate a sense of urgency to address pressing development issues.

When we conducted our first annual review of this 2012-2015 ZUNDAF last year, some of the quality results we delivered together included:

  1. Provision of agricultural inputs to at least 80,000 households;
  2. Vaccination of 1.9 million children;
  3. Support to the constitution making process;
  4. Provision of  food assistance to more than 1.4 million people;
  5. Supplying 90% of health facilities with essential medicines; and
  6. Maintaining 1 to 1 pupil-textbook ratio for 2.5 million school kids.

A substantial level of financial resources was necessary to achieve results. In 2012, the UN Agencies and Programs delivered 426 million USD in Zimbabwe in support of national priorities.

In 2013, with the continued financial support from all development partners, the UN agencies are expected to deliver approximately 430 million USD by end-year. This effectively makes the UN’s programme in Zimbabwe one of the biggest in Africa. It also speaks volumes about the quality of our collective engagement and commitment.

A recurring theme for all of us throughout the year is on strong and effective partnerships. As the United Nations, we value the growing partnership between the Government, the United Nations System, and all Development Partners.

This is predicated on the need to leverage all the skills, resources, and knowledge necessary for the achievement of results.

Implementation of the ZUNDAF in support of national development priorities thus requires maintaining and enhancing these solid partnerships.

This review is an excellent opportunity to assess what was realised in 2013. It further provides a platform to engage in dialogue on development issues.

More importantly, we are gathered here because we are committed to Zimbabwe and its people. We are here because we want to support this country to achieve its full potential. Our collective and constructive engagement is a prerequisite for the accelerated achievement of results.

To conclude, I want to again commend the Government for its strong leadership in coordinating national efforts for development. We trust that through the Zim Asset, the Government will put in place policies and programs to strengthen the economy for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. It is also our hope that this new planning document will provide a strong platform for continued and growing engagement with all partners.

I want to also acknowledge, with sincere gratitude, the collaboration with, and generous contributions that development partners are making to advance development objectives in the country. I would also like to encourage all of us to stay the course to continue supporting the recovery and development process in Zimbabwe.

In the same vein, I also wish to acknowledge the effective collaboration with other development organization, particularly the Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations in implementing programs.

I thank you all gain for joining us today and look forward to your active participation.