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Government sets up ZimAsset aid coordination committee

Government has set up a committee on Aid coordination which will oversee all aid that comes into the country and how it is utilised.

This was said by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa at a signing ceremony of an infrastructure grant from the Danish government to Zimbabwe this morning.

Denmark has made an additional contribution of $20 million to the Zim-Fund to support the second stage of phase II of the Urgent Water & Sanitation and the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation projects that are targeted for completion in 2016.

Minister Chinamasa said it was important to align the coordination of aid to ZimAsset.

“Government has since adopted a framework for the aid coordination architecture so as to align it to the objectives of ZimAsset. To this end, a cabinet committee on aid coordination has been set up,” he said.

He said Government would deal directly with all bilateral donors and development partners to get rid of red tape and also build managerial skills and capacities within respective ministries.

Minister Chinamasa, who chairs the committee, said it would be constituted and include the ministries of local government, public service, higher and tertiary education, primary and secondary education, defence, justice, media and information, foreign affairs, women’s affairs, small to medium enterprises, agriculture, health and environment.

He said the committee will be supported by a sub-committee of senior officials and will be co-chaired by deputy chief secretary in the office of the president and cabinet and also secretary to the treasury.

“So this is how we hope future aid will be directed. Its terms of reference will be to determine Government priorities for aid financing, to enhance accountability in utilisation of funds as well as minimise duplications and ensure that all mobilized funds are channeled through the vote of credit to also ensure accountability,” he said.

He said the committee would periodically report to cabinet on aid inflows, its utilisation and development effectiveness.

The contribution by Denmark brings the country’s total contribution to the fund to $33 million after an initial contribution of $13,1 million.

Denmark collaborates with other donors through Zim-Fund which is managed by the African Development Bank to facilitate the rehabilitation of infrastructure in order to improve the quality of life for Zimbabweans

As part of the project, the local authorities will benefit from technical assistance and capacity building in operational maintenance. This is expected to lead to sustainable service delivery as a result of better operation and maintenance of the water and sanitation infrastructure.

The head of mission at the Royal Danish Embassy office Erik Rasmussen said rehabilitating water and power infrastructure was critical for economic development as well as productivity.

“Infrastructure is important because it is basically about the lives of the people through access to water and sanitation. And it is about oiling the economy as well because electricity is important for running businesses. Infrastructure is a necessity for people living in country but also for growing an economy and developing a country.

People are spending productive time fetching water when there is no running water in taps so rehabilitating water infrastructure is critical for filling up that gap,” he said.

He said Denmark would become the largest bilateral contributor to the development efforts of Zimbabwe by next year.

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