Govt secures $7,6m loan for poverty alleviation project
THE Government has secured a $7,6 million loan facility from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to support the poverty alleviation project, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the modalities of the loan for debate in Parliament on Tuesday where he reported that the support project was earmarked to commence in January 2017 and that it would be implemented over a period of four years.
“The loan was sourced at a concessional interest rate of 1,5 percent per annum, with tenure of 20 years comprising a five-year grace period and 15 years bi-annual repayments,” he said.
“The objective of the project is to improve access by beneficiary households to enhanced socio-economic services and income generating opportunities.”
The minister said livestock development, drilling of community boreholes, value addition of locally available fruits, honey production and processing and fish farming are some of the programmes that will be taken up under the programme.
Minister Chinamasa said the initiative would also cater for capacity of personnel and upgrading of equipment for three identified entrepreneurship training institutes.
The beneficiaries to this facility would be identified as rural communities, households, entrepreneurs, training institutions cooperatives.
They would have to be from the provinces of Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland North.
“The financing of the project is $8,3 million, with OFID contributing a loan facility of $7,6 million while Government will provide counter-funding of $700 000,” said Minister Chinamasa.
“The loan will be serviced from funds deposited by beneficiaries into a revolving fund. The fund will be administered by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development (SMECD) to ensure that Government is able to honour its repayment obligations to OFID.”
The executing agent responsible for the implementation of the project is the Ministry of SMECD whose mandate will be to oversee the daily activities of the project.
The poverty alleviation project is a direct translation of the country’s economic blue-print the Zim-Asset, which seeks to eradicate poverty through value addition of abundant local resources.
In September the Government launched the Interim Poverty Reduction Paper (I-PRSP), which requires $2,7 billion to implement in the period 2016 to 2018.
The strategy paper is anchored on seven pillars that include agriculture productivity, social sectors, private sector, infrastructure sector, environment and climate change, gender women and youth development and strengthening governance.
It seeks to eradicate poverty and ensures inclusive and savings and credit growth and improvement in the livelihoods of citizens.
The Government and development organisations have secured $800 million so far for the implementation of the I-PRSP, leaving a funding gap of $1,9 billion. — @BiancaMlilo
Minister Patrick Chinamasa