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IRC Hails Stable Exchange Rates For Strengthening Aid Work

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By Alois Vinga


THE global aid organisation, International Rescue Committee (IRC) has hailed the current stable exchange rates for preserving value to recipients of multi-purpose cash grant in Cyclone Idai hit areas.

A raft of measures implemented in 2020 by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) have seen the scrapping of mobile money agent lines, and the mopping of excess liquidity.

This has also been strengthened by RBZ’s launch of the foreign currency exchange auction system and a raft of measures, bringing sanity into the market.

Speaking during an interview on NewZim TV’s Economic Insights programme, IRC country director Zvidzai Maburutse said exchange rates stability had preserved the value of cash grants extended to vulnerable communities in Chimanimani district, Manicaland province.

“The auction system has been a good move in terms of stabilising exchange rates because one of the things we have been worried about in the past was the erosion of value in cash transfers support. However, with the obtaining predictability, recipients are now able to meet their basic needs,” he said.

Maburutse added: “So with a stable currency, we realise that prices stabilise and when money is transferred to their wallets they are able to preserve value so that they will be able to meet the basic food basket.”

He noted the disparity between the official exchange rate and the parallel market, which used to affect and erode the value of money extended to the vulnerable, was now a thing of the past.

“We have seen the stabilisation of the exchange rates has gone a long way to help communities use the little money which they get,” he added.

Founded in 1933 as the International Relief Association, at the request of Albert Einstein, and later changing its name in 1942 after amalgamating with the Emergency Rescue Committee, the IRC has been working in Zimbabwe for the past 10 years.

It focuses on areas of water and sanitation, health, protection of the girl child and women, economic recovery and resilience.

Over 18 000 families in Chimanimani are being assisted with cash for the work they perform in infrastructure and rehabilitation projects.