UN Resident Coordinator’s Update: On UN Humanitarian and Development Support to Zimbabwe

Harare, 6 December 2013 - This update aims to clarify recent media reports with regards to UN humanitarian and development support to Zimbabwe.

The objectives of United Nations in Zimbabwe are informed by national priorities and internationally agreed goals, norms and standards. In this regard, the UN has been supporting Government’s national development efforts through the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), while simultaneously supporting the response to humanitarian needs as required.

Humanitarian assistance aims to provide emergency relief. In response to the improved humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe, a collective decision was taken by Government, the UN, and humanitarian partners to focus humanitarian work mainly on food security. During 2012/2013, remaining humanitarian interventions also addressed residual needs in the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Health and Protection sectors. Humanitarian actors and the UN will continue to assist the Government in providing relief as and when needed.

Development interventions aim to provide medium to longer term solutions to social and economic challenges. The United Nations in Zimbabwe is most active in supporting development interventions, through the ZUNDAF, under the principle of national ownership, and with the generous financial support from donors. Approximately two-thirds of resources delivered by the UN since 2012 were channeled towards basic social services, covering health, education, HIV & AIDS, social protection and WASH. Other major areas of intervention include governance, agriculture and the environment.

The 2012-2015 ZUNDAF was aligned to the 2011-2015 Medium Term Plan (the previous national development blueprint). The UN is working with the Government to ensure that its work in Zimbabwe continues to support national development priorities, as elaborated in the Government’s new development blueprint, the 2013-2018 Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET) (the new development blueprint). The recent 2013 Annual Review of the ZUNDAF concluded that the UN’s engagement remains largely relevant and aligned to national priorities spelled out in the ZIM ASSET.

Therefore, the UN will continue to support the Government of Zimbabwe to strengthen social services and address challenges linked to poverty, gender, food & nutrition security, maternal health, and others through development interventions under the ZUNDAF, while simultaneously supporting Government to address humanitarian needs as needed.