Embassy of Sweden staff tour UN premises

Harare, 01 March 2016 – The United Nations hosted 23 Embassy of Sweden staff and senior management to its offices and common services facilities based in Arundel Office Park, Harare.   The half day programme was developed jointly by the Embassy of Sweden and the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office as a way for the Embassy staff to familiarize themselves on the work of the UN in Zimbabwe.  

The learning visit provided staff from both the Embassy of Sweden and the UN in Zimbabwe to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s work as well as joint support to development initiatives that showcase the strong partnership between the UN and Sweden.  Speaking to the gathering on the common values that continue to bind the two partners in their collaborative efforts, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli said, “Cooperation between Sweden and the UN in Zimbabwe is based on the UN Charter and about improving peoples’ lives.”

Sweden has remained a strong supporter of UN development work both globally and in Zimbabwe.  Through its government agency, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) Sweden supports the UN to ensure that people living in poverty and under oppression have the ability to improve their living conditions.  Reiterating the strong ties between Sweden and the UN, the Ambassador of Sweden Lars Ronnas said, “The UN Charter and International Laws are the hallmarks of Sweden’s engagement with countries including Zimbabwe.”  

Through the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), costed USD 1.6bn, the UN will continue to engage Development Partners such as Sweden to support Zimbabwe in its efforts to advance on its national development goals and the SDGs. The 2016-2020 ZUNDAF aims to contribute to six national priority areas:  1) Food and Nutrition Security; 2) Gender Equality; 3) HIV and AIDS; 4) Poverty Reduction and Value Addition; 5) Public Administration and Governance; and 6) Social Services and Protection.

Under the previous ZUNDAF (2012-2015), the UN together with development partners such as Sweden, has delivered over USD 1.6bn supporting development programmes which include:

  • Progressive constitution in place and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission secretariat fully established to carry out its mandate.
  • Proportion of people living below the Food Poverty Line reduced from 41.2% (2001) to 22% (2015), through support to over 1.4 million food insecure people (2011-2014).
  • 158 dams and 58 weirs rehabilitated to improve water sources and advance irrigation in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change and resultant recurrent drought.
  • Completion rates rose from 76.4% (2012) to 77.3% (2014) for primary school and from 61.1% (2012) to 64.2% (2014) for secondary school.
  • Skilled birth attendance increased from 60% (2009) to 90% (2015).
  • Maternal mortality declined from 960 deaths per 100,000 live births (2011) to 526 deaths per 100,000 live births (2014).
  • New HIV infections fell from 2.63% (2000) to 0.49% (2015).
  • Mother to child transmission of HIV fell from 18% (2011) to 6.6% (2014).
  • Women’s representation in parliament increased from 19% (2008) to 35% (2013).