The appointment of President Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe has signalled a complete transformation within Zimbabwe, and the ability to establish international ties to further its economic and social development.
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, is visiting Zimbabwe to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa and to provide support in a number of new health programmes.
New EU-funded programmes, worth €23mn will improve local access to health services and enhance the livelihoods of Zimbabwean citizens. The visit has been planned ahead of the country’s elections, set to take place mid-year.
"I am here to show to the Zimbabwean people and authorities that the EU stands ready to accelerate its support to their transition towards democracy and prosperity,” explained Mimica.
“I am also happy to launch new EU support programmes for a total amount of €23 million in the area of health and job creation. 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."
The majority of funding (€20.6mn) will be dedicated to ensuring equitable access to quality health services for women and children. Notably, it aims to reduce maternal mortality, as well as halve the prevalence of stunting and reduce the mortality of children under five years.
Additionally, it will furthermore aim to fight HIV and AIDS, malaria and other prevalent diseases. Efforts will be made to improve women's access to safe sexual and reproductive health and rights services. The funds will contribute to UN agencies, UNICEF and UNFPA, through the multi donor Health Development Fund.
Furthermore, a programme with NGO Save the Children worth €2.8mn will help grassroots associations to work towards improving the livelihoods of 15,000 young women and men.
Commissioner Mimica’s visit takes place less than six months after President Mnangagwa and his new Cabinet took office. The EU has already provided €11mn to support the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission and civil society stakeholders in the preparation of the electoral process.