The Sustainable Development Goals in Zimbabwe
The 2016 – 2021 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), co-chaired by Government and the United Nations, is the strategic document via which UN Entities channel their support to the achievement of the SDGs in Zimbabwe. The ZUNDAF, which comprises six result areas and fifteen outcomes is fully aligned to the SDGs. The six result areas are: Social Services and Protection; Poverty Reduction and Value Addition; Food and Nutrition; Gender Equality; HIV and AIDS; and Public Administration and Governance. The United Nations in Zimbabwe also supports Government to conduct regular monitoring and reporting on progress towards the SDGs at national and sub-national levels. In addition, the United Nations regularly facilitates national and local consultations and advocacy campaigns in partnership with the Office of the President and Cabinet, Government Ministries, Parliament, Development Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Youth Group, Media, and the Public on mainstreaming and implementation of the SDGs.
29 October 2020
Government, UN rollout roadmap for new cooperation framework
The Government and the United Nations system convened a high-level review meeting on 23 October 2020, to validate the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) independent evaluation. The high-level meeting also assessed progress, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on development and discussed a roadmap for the next Cooperation Framework between Government and the United Nations. The high-level meeting co-chaired by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr. M.J.M Sibanda, and UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Maria Ribeiro brought together senior Government and UN officials, representatives of national and international NGOs, and Civil Society reference group on Sustainable Development Goals. Noting that under the 2016-2020 ZUNDAF, the UN delivered USD 1.7 billion in various development projects and programmes as of the end of 2019, Ms Ribeiro said, “despite a challenging first half of 2020, the UN stepped up efforts to support the national COVID-19 response plan, which include awareness raising, procurement of PPEs, strengthening laboratory system for surveillance, infection prevention and control, and continuity of essential services.” The UN system has continued to support Zimbabwe on matters of food security; gender equality; water, hygiene and sanitation; education; economic empowerment and community resilience amongst others. Commending the UN development system as reliable, time-tested and trusted partners in Zimbabwe’s development agenda, Chief Secretary to President and Cabinet, Dr. M.J.M Sibanda said, “to achieve the goals and targets within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires significant scale up of investment and broader collaboration with the UN, development partners and the private sector to steer cooperation towards accelerated SDG delivery.” Through the 2016-2020 ZUNDAF, the United Nations provided support towards humanitarian and development efforts with focus on six result areas: social services and protection; food and nutrition security; HIV and AIDS; poverty reduction and value addition; gender equality; as well as good governance and public administration. The independent evaluation conducted in 2019 concluded that the ZUNDAF has been a key vehicle in support the country’s effort to attain Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In addition, the evaluation noted that the ZUNDAF has laid the ground for the UN system in Zimbabwe to ‘Deliver as One’ include the joint UN-European Union Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls as well as resilience building, youth and people living with disabilities. The UN Team in Zimbabwe together with national and international partners has rolled out the process to formulate a new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework which will be informed by 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Agenda 2063 of the African Union; and the new upcoming National Development Strategy (NDS 2021 - 2025).
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24 June 2020
COVID-19 pandemic reveals investment in development reaps rewards during crisis
Cricensia Tshu, one of the nurses at Sipepa Rural Hospital, takes out the insulated case of vaccines from the refrigerator to prepare for the day. As with other days, Cricensia prepares to receive mothers as they bring their infants for their vaccination shots. Two years ago, this routine activity would not have been guaranteed. Unreliable power supply, which has affected Zimbabwe and most Southern African countries, created inconsistencies in the availability of vaccines which need to maintain a cold chain from the central pharmacies in Harare to Sipepa, over 550 km away. UNDP with support from the Global Fund and in partnership with Ministry of Health and Child Care, and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, equipped 405 health facilities across the country with solar systems of varying capacity. These systems provide primary power for critical operations including in maternal theatres and wards; pharmacies for medicines and vaccine refrigeration; information systems; and night lighting in the facilities. “The experience from our partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and Global Fund provides a platform to continuously invest in a robust health system that can adequately absorb the demand on health facilities” said UNDP Resident Representative, Georges van Montfort. As Zimbabwe prepares for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases, the investment in 405 health facilities with solar grids will play a critical role in response to the disease. Power for medical devices, information systems and lighting will be important to contain the spread of the virus, provide care for patients and for real-time reporting of incidents across the country. Through the Global Fund, the UN has supported the National Response Plan to COVID-19 through the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers with US$4.1 million. UNDP is partnering with the Government, other UN agencies and the private sector to engage communities on information dissemination; support youth-led business working on the COVID-19 response, and to support the informal sector. Further, options for Global Fund support to the COVID response by the health sector are also being considered. The partnership between Government, Global Fund and UNDP to strengthen national health systems is supporting the country towards achievement of SDGs 3, 7, 8, 13 and 17: Good health and well-being, Affordable and clean energy, Decent work, Climate action and partnerships.
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24 June 2020
Providing services to survivors of gender-based violence during COVID-19
“Our work with Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and advancing women’s rights is not stopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, our contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 is to ensure that we continuously monitor and bring forward cases of gender-based violence through our members,” said Director of Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau, Ronika Mumbire. Women are largely affected both physically and emotionally while they are also at higher risk of infection as they respond to the crisis. Data from previous outbreaks’ emergency response efforts often divert resources from essential services, exacerbating ordinary lack of access to services, including pre- and post-natal health care, as well as contraceptives. UN Women Country Representative, Delphine Serumaga maintains that it is essential to address the immediate needs of women. “Everybody thinks that the world stops just because we have Covid-19 amongst us. No! That is not true. All other essential services must continue. It is imperative to ensure that women have an escape route when they are faced with abusive situations, while other individuals who are witnessing abuse must have adequate knowledge to advise or report such situations,” she said. Life-saving services for survivors of gender-based violence continue to be offered during Zimbabwe’s COVID-19-related lockdown, such as those offered by Bubi Shelter in Bubi district. This provides, not only shelter for survivors, but has also helps improve the reporting of cases. As part of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, UNFPA Zimbabwe is working closely with civil society organizations and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Community and Small to Medium Enterprises Development (MWACSMED) to ensure the continuation of GBV services. CSO partners include Musasa Project, Adult Rape Clinic, Family AIDS Counselling Trust, Family Support Trust, FACT, ZAPSO, ZICHIRE and World Vision. These efforts include equipping all supported GBV facilities – static and mobile one-stop centres, shelters and safe spaces – with COVID-19 infection, prevention and control (IPC) supplies. IPC supplies include masks, gloves, thermometers, temporary isolation tents for GBV survivors with suspicious symptoms, and extra transport support as alternatives to limited availability of public transport for survivors being referred to higher levels of care. These measures are critical to ensure that survivors receive the services they need, while also mitigating against the risk of exposure to COVID-19. As a safe haven, Bubi shelter has become a beacon of hope in the community. It shows what can be achieved when there is solidarity against the crime of violence against women and girls. The facility brings together religious leaders, councillors, and men and women from the community to discuss how to end GBV against women and girls in the community, explained Ward Councillor Mbizo Siwela. We are very happy and grateful for the shelter as it is doing a good job in checking and supressing GBV. “The shelter has helped bring to light the plight of the girl child through community forum meetings, where issues relating to prevention of and response to gender-based violence are shared,” he said. “We are very happy and grateful for the shelter as it is doing a good job in checking and supressing GBV. The shelter has helped improve reporting of GBV cases.” Currently housing 15 survivors and 4 accompanying minors, the facility shelters women and girls who have experienced GBV, mostly at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect them. “Enduring this type of violence is not an easy experience,” said Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, during a recent visit to the shelter. “We must ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and that this leads to convictions. We must never allow this to happen as a community. We must also ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and that this leads to convictions,” she said. The majority of GBV cases registered at Bubi shelter involve adolescent girls. The facility has also emerged as a strong link in the referral system, ensuring that survivors get a comprehensive package of care. Bubi equips the survivors with skills and knowledge on how to deal with GBV, thus training them to become community ambassadors ready to help others who might potentially experience violence. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a tremendous effect on gender-based violence due to resultant socio-economic stresses. Cases of gender-based violence have been on the rise globally, as well as in Zimbabwe. In a normal month, the Musasa Project Call Center receives approximately 500 calls from survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Within a week of the lockdown being enforced in Zimbabwe, however, we have received 592 calls from women and girls experiencing GBV.” This increase in GBV cases is worrisome, but organizations such as Musasa Project are working tirelessly to ensure that women and girls receive the help and services they require to overcome abuse. For instance, Musasa Project has continued to provide safe spaces to survivors of GBV who need to seek shelter away from their abusive homes. Through the joint global Spotlight Initiative of European Union and the United Nations is providing assistance to organizations such as Musasa Project to ensure survivors of GBV have access to quality GBV services. This support will prove to be even more critical as cases of GBV rise rapidly due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. To report for sexual and gender-based violence, contact immediately the following toll-free hotlines available 24 hours: Musasa Project: 08080074 Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA): 08080131
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