Govt, Zimref launch $32 million fund

patrick-chinamasaHARARE  – The Government and the World Bank-managed Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (Zimref) has launched a $32 million facility to fund several programmes such as the water and sanitation, public financial management (PFM) and maternal and child health.

The $32 million will be funded by provided by Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the World Bank’s State and Peace Building Fund.

The World Bank said the Public Procurement Modernisation Project will receive a $1,3 million grant and a $0,6 million technical assistance from ZIMREF to support the reform of the public procurement system and prepare for the introduction of e-procurement in Government.

A second phase of $2,0 million is programmed to support the roll-out of an e-procurement pilot in key ministries and agencies said the bank.

“Zimref will also provide a $10 million grant for the national water project and a complementary technical assistance grant from the water and sanitation programme. This grant is the first phase of a planned $20 million project which aims to improve access and efficiency in water services in selected growth centres.”

The project which is to be implemented by the Ministry of Water, Environment and Climate Change and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority will rehabilitate the water systems in Lupane, Madziwa, Zimunya, Gutu, Nembudziyana, Guruve and Mataga.

The bank also said the fund will support the preparation of National Water resources Master Plan of Zimbabwe the commercialisation of ZINWA and the establishment of a water supply and sanitation regulator.

ZIMREF will also be providing a grant of $10 million for the first phase of the new Public Financial Management Enhancement Project.

The project will support improvements in financial reporting, internal controls, fiscal transparency and accountability in Government finances building on earlier work that help to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s financial management.

The bank added that the bank will extended an additional funding of $10 million to the health sector to complete Zimbabwe’s ongoing health sector development project that supports the introduction of results based financing in rural and low-income clinics.

In his remarks during the signing ceremony of the fund Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the World Bank team was in the country to brainstorm on a country financing programme.

“We are working frantically to produce a country strategy paper to determine funds required.”

He added that priority sectors for funding would be infrastructure, agriculture, mining and manufacturing, among others.

Minister Chinamasa said the Government accepted the World Bank’s ‘frank’ assessment of the country’s economy, which has started to struggle for growth after an impressive rebound following dollarisation in 2009. Before that, Zimbabwe’s economy had contracted by as much as 52 percent between 1998 and 2008.

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