UK responds to govt plea

THE United Kingdom (UK) has announced that it would provide $10 million towards 250 000 eligible Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) primary schoolchildren in Zimbabwe next month through the Department for International Development (DFID).

NDUDUZO TSHUMA
STAFF REPORTER

Beam is a Zimbabwe government social protection programme, implemented by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry under the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. In a statement yesterday, UKAid said over 250 00 primary schoolchildren would benefit from the assistance that targets 5 415 primary and special schools countrywide.

“The funding will contribute to higher attendance and completion rates among orphans and vulnerable children,” the statement read.
The aid was in response to the government’s request to DFID last month to provide further support for Beam in addition to the $27 million provided in 2012-2013.

“The UK is very pleased to be able to provide this additional support which I know will make a huge difference to the lives of the children who will benefit along with their families and wider communities,” the head of the DFID office in Zimbabwe, Jane Rintoul, said.

DFID welcomed the government’s decision to freeze an increase on school fees and levies in 2014 saying the move, if enforced, would help reduce “any fall in the number of children supported in 2014 under Beam”.

The organisation also encouraged government to redouble its efforts to find additional funding sources for Beam given that this was likely to be the UK’s final contribution to the Beam programme.

“The UK through DFID expects to invest some $650 million in the four years between 2011 and 2015 to help ensure that the poorest people in Zimbabwe have access to basic services such as education, health, water and sanitation, of which around $100 million will be in the education sector,” the statement read.

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