By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE European Union (EU) has provided US$41 million as additional funding under the country’s Health Development Fund (HDF).
Sweden has contributed an additional US$2 million for direct use during 2020.
The significant contributions will be combined with funds from the other HDF donors including the DFID, Irish Aid, and the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), to finance prioritised interventions across seven thematic areas of the HDF programme.
“While it’s important to respond to the Covid-19 crisis, it’s key to ensure that women and children still get the health care that they need, and to ensure that all health workers are protected while performing their duties of care and treatments of all patients,” said Asa Pehrson Sweden’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Zimbabwe representative said he was very grateful to the EU, Sweden, and all donors in the HDF for the continuous financial support since the inception of pooled funding platform in Zimbabwe.
“These resources have significantly contributed towards strengthening the health system so that it remains resilient to the multiple challenges Zimbabwe has been facing,” he said.
The contributions have seen increased coverage of key reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and nutritional services.
Timo Olkkonen, head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe said HDF partners remained committed to supporting Zimbabwe in fighting the current health crisis.
“The current pandemic highlights more than ever the need for strong and inclusive health care systems,” he said.
“It also underlines the necessity for joint efforts in achieving our sustainable development goals through funds such as the HDF. This year, the EU increased its contribution to the HDF by US$ 41 million.
“This comes on top of a total of US$99 million that the EU has contributed to the HDF since 2015. We are glad that HDF has earmarked US$12.4 million for Covid-19 response.
“The EU is also looking into further topping up its contribution to Covid-19 response with additional funds to the HDF.”