Europe’s lat­est lu­cra­tive sup­port to re­form Zim­babwe

African Times - - International/africa - MAR­CUS MUSHONGA

THE Euro­pean Union (EU) has made avail­able €23 mil­lion (about R392 mil­lion) to sup­port health­care pro­vi­sion, job cre­ation and demo­cratic tran­si­tion in Zim­babwe.

It is the lat­est in­di­ca­tion at re­vived re­la­tions with Zim­babwe af­ter years of diplo­matic stand-offs.

Neven Mim­ica, EU Com­mis­sioner for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment, said the sup­port high­lighted its readi­ness to ac­cel­er­ate sup­port to Zim­babwe dur­ing its tran­si­tion process af­ter dis­cor­dant long­time leader, Robert Mu­gabe, was forced out of power last Novem­ber. The visit takes place ahead of Zim­babwe elec­tions due in mid July -2018.

Mim­ica, the Croa­t­ian diplo­mat, con­firmed sup­port of EU-funded pro­grammes dur­ing an of­fi­cial visit to the South­ern African coun­try, where he met the coun­try’s Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa.

“I am here to show the Zim­bab­wean peo­ple and au­thor­i­ties that the EU stands ready to ac­cel­er­ate its sup­port to their tran­si­tion to­wards democ­racy and pros­per­ity,” he said in the cap­i­tal Harare. “As Zim­babwe opens a new chap­ter in its his­tory, we are putting our trust in the au­thor­i­ties to seize this unique op­por­tu­nity and ad­dress the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic chal­lenges in the coun­try.”

About 90 per­cent of fund­ing by the EU is to en­sure eq­ui­table ac­cess to qual­ity health ser­vices for women and chil­dren.

It will fur­ther­more aim to fight HIV and AIDS, malaria and other preva­lent dis­eases.

Since Mu­gabe’s ouster, EU has al­ready pro­vided €11 mil­lion to sup­port the elec­toral process.

EU sus­pended bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion with Zim­babwe at the peak of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions and elec­toral fraud by Mu­gabe’s regime.

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