The challenges of persistent poverty, with 63 per cent of the population living under the total consumption poverty line, 16 per cent being extremely poor, and significant levels of unemployment and underemployment (particularly in the informal economy), continue to weigh down on sustainable economic development.
These challenges affect mostly young people and women who constitute over 65 per cent and 52 per cent of the total population (2012 Census), respectively. Over 3.7 million people are engaged in informal activities, the majority being women and young people.
Industrial capacity utilisation has fallen from 56 per cent in 2011 to below 40 per cent in 2013. Skills and expertise in industry have been lost through migration, at the same time bringing the boon of remittances, which however have not been effectively harnessed for investment and development and have declined from an estimated USD 2.1 billion in 2012 to USD 1.6 billion in 2013.
In order to promote poverty reduction and support value addition, the United Nations in Zimbabwe has articulated its support around two main outcomes:
Key institutions formulate and implement socio-economic policies, strategies and programmes for improved livelihoods and reduced poverty of communities
Increased access to income and decent work opportunities in key value chains and economic sectors, particularly for young people and women
The Poverty Reduction and Value Addition ZUNDAF Result Group provides a key entry point for UN support for sustainable economic transformation, especially through macro and micro-economic policies, harnessing the demographic dividend, as well as the promotion of employment and economic empowerment for key populations, among them youth and women, in order to reduce poverty in all its forms.
This priority area will integrate the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 13. In line with this new thinking, the UN will continue its advocacy for the integration of employment as a key macroeconomic target to support employment and development-friendly investments for poverty eradication and inclusive growth learning from the experiences of cooperation in the global South.
Resources required to achieve this result area are USD 215 million.