The Embassy of Sweden, Friday, granted SEK 45 million (USD$5 million) to the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) to support the country’s food resilience under the crisis modifier programme.
Crisis modification is used in resilience building as a tool to implement actions based on early warning and to better prepare communities to withstand the shocks posed by the looming El Nino weather phenomenon.
This new allocation brings Sweden’s allocation to ZRBF to SEK 120 million.
Her Excellency Sofia Calltorp, Ambassador of Sweden said, the grant will allow ZRBF to boost the resilience of the beneficiaries.
“In light of the forecasted food insecurity throughout the ZRBF supported rural districts during the lean season due to the anticipated El Nino effects, the Embassy of Sweden allocated additional SEK 45 million to resilience building and to allow ZRBF to reactivate Crisis Modifier Mechanism to bolster the resilience of beneficiaries, households and communities.”
The ZRBF is a six-year development initiative with USD$75 million to contribute to increased capacity of approximately 800,000 people in 18 rural districts to protect their development gains in the face of recurrent shocks and stresses and to enable them to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr. Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator said, the funding will sustain the livelihoods of the beneficiaries.
“ZRBF brings humanitarian and development nexus by supporting the protection and sustainability of livelihoods of targeted rural vulnerable beneficiaries with an overall objective of weaning them out from humanitarian assistance over the cycle of the fund.
“ZRBF has a built-in innovative mechanism to address emergent and residual vulnerabilities through activating Crisis Modifier when needed. Zimbabwe like the rest of southern Africa is bracing for yet another El Nino induced dry spell with 80 percent likelihood of below to average rainfall according to metrological forecast and nearly 2.4 million people will need assistance by January 2019 according to the latest estimates by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee,” said Mr Parajuli.
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Mr. Georges Van Montfort UNDP Country Director said the funds will cushion 226,800 people in 18 districts from the adverse effect of the El Nino and will ring-fence investments made, so far, in building resilience of the communities.
Sweden’s support to the ZRBF is the largest contribution and one of the first agreements signed under the 2017-2021 Swedish Strategy for Development Cooperation in Zimbabwe. In addition to the 18 districts covered by the ZRBF, the Embassy of Sweden also supports resilience initiatives in further four districts in agro-ecological zones of III, IV and V.
Mr Ringson Chitsiko, Secretary to Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement said, the grant will go a long way in assisting vulnerable communities.
“I thank the Government of Sweden for providing the resources which will go a long way in building the resilience of our communities and will make a strategic investment in safeguarding livelihoods and development gains made by the ZRBF targeted communities.”
The ZRBF programme, implemented by a consortia of international and local non-governmental organisations, community-based organizations, academia, private sector partners, and the UN, aims to contribute to increased capacities of vulnerable communities to protect development gains and achieve improved well-being outcomes in the face of shocks and stresses.
The agreement was signed between the UNDP and Embassy of Sweden in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement; the EU; UK; the United Nations; ZRBF Steering Committee, the implementing organisations, and the Media.