HARARE – Switzerland is committed to providing at least $10 million per year to fund various developmental projects in Zimbabwe in the next five years, the country’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Ruth Huber said yesterday.
She was speaking at a signing ceremony of an agreement on international co-operation which seeks to strengthen technical and financial cooperation between Harare and Zurich.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa signed on behalf of Zimbabwe while Ambassador Huber signed for her country.
“Currently we are working on a new strategy for the coming five years under which disbursements in Zimbabwe will slightly increase from $8 million disbursed in 2016 to between $10 million and $11 million per year in the coming years,” she said.
“These resources will enable vulnerable population groups in the country to better manage the challenges of food security, health and water, sanitation and hygiene.”
Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency on Development and Cooperation, has supported various projects including the rehabilitation of 14 small-scale irrigation schemes in Masvingo Province, a project benefiting close to 1 500 farmers.
Another 744 farmers in Masvingo have also been supported to produce certified seeds of maize, sugar beans and cow peas.
Speaking at the same occasion, Chinamasa said support extended by Switzerland since 2009 in areas including agriculture development, health service delivery and institutional building was above $100 million.
“Furthermore, the Swiss Agency is also providing training and capacity building programmes to small holder farmers in order to equip them with skills and knowledge on effective grain storage, improved seed output and stimulation of local informal and formal seed markets,” he said. – New Ziana