UNDP at 50: Leading the Fight Against Poverty and Inequality in Zimbabwe

Feb 24, 2016

Promoting beekeeping projects in Matebeleland South as a source of sustainable livelihoods

The UNDP has been instrumental in the country’s development narrative by  building national consensus and strengthening the capacities of national institutions to deliver intrinsic basic social services to all citizens including the most vulnerable, Ambassador D. Hamadziripi, director of multilateral affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

In a message to commemorate the 50th anniversary of UNDP, Ambassador Hamadziripi described people afflicted by HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria as among the major beneficiaries of UNDP interventions in Zimbabwe.  The message was read on his behalf by Mr Gumisayi Gapure, who is assistant director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Going forward, the country looks forward to working with UNDP in fulfilling the first phase of the SDGs in support of sustainable growth pillars namely social services, food security, good governance, environment, gender and HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health, among others” he said.

Giving a key-note address, UNDP Resident Representative Mr Bishow Parajuli highlighted UNDP’s contribution to the consolidation of democratic governance reforms through key initiatives such as UNDP’s   support to the Constitution making process, the establishment of the Human Rights Commission as well as the Gender and National Peace and Reconciliation Commissions being developed.

“We are also supporting efforts to align existing legislation to the Constitution and institutional strengthening of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as part of supporting key democratic processes in the country” explained Mr Parajuli adding that UNDP has also played a key role in advancing the concept of the human development approach through the annual Human Development Report.

Hailing the strong partnership and collaboration with Government since UNDP was established in Zimbabwe in 1980, the Resident Representative said that jointly with other UN agencies and development partners, the country has made tremendous development progress.

 “Hunger has been reduced by more than half since 1995; HIV prevalence has dropped by 44 per cent from a peak of 29.6 per cent in 1998; the country has also made great strides in reducing maternal mortality by one-third; increase in child immunization to 69% and; maintaining primary school attendance at a high level of 94%” said the Resident Representative.

In her welcome remarks, UNDP Country Director described the commemoration as a global event that culminates in a Ministerial Meeting on 24 February in New York.

“We note with appreciation that Hon Patrick Chinamasa, the Finance Minister will be representing Zimbabwe at the high-level event” said the Country Director, stressing that the Ministerial Meeting will be an occasion for Member States to celebrate UNDP’s past, and chart a course for the future of global development.

“On this occasion, here in Zimbabwe, UNDP has enjoyed excellent partnership with Government, UN agencies, development partners and civil society organizations in the implementation of our programmes.  Together we have achieved a lot since UNDP was established in Zimbabwe in the early 80s. We look forward to continuing working together in addressing the new global development agenda – Agenda 2030 on sustainable development goals” said the Country Director.

In Zimbabwe, the 50th anniversary was held in a brief ceremony attended by high the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Mr Prince Mupazviriho, the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr Mupamhanga, representatives of the UN Country Team and UNDP staff.

The lively event included a musical interlude and dance provided by the Chipawo entertainment group.