Boosting Capacity for Resilience Building in Zimbabwe

May 19, 2016

In a major boost to national efforts to deal with consequences and impact of natural and manmade shocks / hazards, exacerbated by climate change, the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) formally launched in Harare on 19 May 2016; this Fund shall provide a vital resource as the country contends with one of its worst droughts in recent decades.

Supported by the European Union and DFID (UK Department for International Development), the ZRBF will be managed by UNDP in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development (MAMID) as well as  other lines Ministries, as  appropriate.

The ZRBF seeks to raise at least USD 50 million for investing in resilience building activities in the next 5 years by offering better protection against economic and environmental shocks. Already, USD 26 million worth of funding agreements have been signed, raising hopes that the ZRBF will play an increasing development role in the country. Interventions will contribute to building resilience of rural communities, through a combination of interventions addressing the complex relations between hazards, existing social practices, poverty, agriculture and food security and their impact on health, nutrition and access to basic services.

“We have to build the capacity of rural communities to prevent, prepare and mitigate the impact of an unfavourable environment and disasters whenever they occur” Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe explained, adding that one of the major objectives of the ZRBF is to reduce the number of people falling into further destitution, while at the same time protecting the assets of communities for a better future. “If you want to minimise humanitarian needs you need to build resilience,” said Ambassador Van Damme.

Funded activities will prioritize vulnerable households and especially young people, with at least 25% of the direct beneficiaries being female- headed households.

Highlighting the importance of evidence-based programming guided by research, UNDP Resident Representative Mr Bishow Parajuli described the resilience building framework as ideal for Zimbabwe. “Resilience is value for money, resilience is a good investment, and resilience building contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Echoing a similar theme, Head of DFID in Zimbabwe Mrs Annabel Gerry said that the resilience approach is applicable at all levels of society including the household, communities and systems levels as well as markets and private sector. “Through this programme, Zimbabwe is now well positioned to contribute to the international resilience building agenda and share valuable insights with other countries”.

To enhance inclusivity and national ownership, the ZRBF will promote joint working relationships in the form of consortia, including collaborations between international and local non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, private sector, national and local government departments, UN and academia.

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