Over 5 million benefit from US$115 million ZRBF grant

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By Staff Reporter

OVER five million Zimbabweans across the country’s 18 districts are beneficiary to a US$115 million windfall from the donor community under the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF).

This was revealed Thursday by Swedish Embassy National Programme Officer for Environment, Climate Change, Resilience and Renewable Energy in Harare, Gareth Horsfield.

In an interview, Horsfield said the programme, bankrolled by various world donors, was aimed at empowering locals so as to build resilient communities in the face of climatic changes.

“ZRBF is the largest multi-donor trust fund in Zimbabwe, funded to the tune of USD$115 million by Sweden, UNDP, DFID, the EU and the Danish Government,” Horsfield said.

“At present, the programme has well over 1 million beneficiaries, with activities tailor-made to fit the context of specific wards and districts.”

Horsfield said a prior hazard mapping of every ward in the country helped determine districts to prioritise.

The programme has been running for five years now and is set to end in 2022.

There are hopes the programme could continue if more funding was availed.

“To date, Sweden has contributed SEK 120 million. SEK 15 million has been added recently to install and rehabilitate 532 boreholes across the 18 districts.

“The aim is to provide clean water to approximately 160 000 households.

“In 2019, the embassy contributed humanitarian funding to World Food Programme with the aim of specifically targeting ZRBF districts,” he said.

In Midlands, Mberengwa, which is one of the districts under ZRBF, received funding from Sweden.

“Based on the need, it was decided that our humanitarian funding would go to Mberengwa while our humanitarian funding from DFID, the EU and the US went to all remaining districts in the country, targeting about 5, 3 million people in total,” he said.

The programme is made up by seven consortia (international and Local NGOs, academia and the private sector) and these are overseen by the Programme Management Unit at UNDP.

The aim of the programme is to build adaptive, absorptive and transformative capacities of smallholder households to withstand shocks such as drought and macro-economic instability.