UN to increase assistance to Zim

ZIMBABWE has the capacity to turn around the fortunes of the economy despite a tenuous business environment and poor infrastructure, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) senior economic adviser Amarakoon Bandara said last week.

BY SHARON SIBINDI

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Bandara told a National University of Science and Technology Social Development Goals lecture that UNDP was planning to increase its assistance to Zimbabwe around food security and health.

“When it comes to implementation of ZimAsset (government economic blueprint) they are lot of issues because of budget constraints and the biggest issue is revenue as 90% goes to salary and 10% goes to development. This is a real challenge for Zimbabwe, government has started borrowing from the domestic market because (of these) constraints,” Bandara said.

“Zimbabwe has the capacity to make it happen though it is facing a lot of challenges like poor economy, enabling environment for the economy to grow, poor infrastructure, health and education programmes are rolling on the ground to help get the economy back on track.”

Asked on the impact of policies like Statutory Instrument (SI64) on the local industry, Bandara said such legal instruments are short-term measures.

“In the long run, if Zimbabwe will continue with the policy and get used to the system, they won’t be competition and Zimbabwe can lose more than what it gains,” he said.

United Nations communications specialists, Sirak Gebrehinot, said the expected bumper harvest could help the country in its efforts towards reviving the economy.

“The harvest will be much better which will increase the growth rate as well. Good rains are not for crops only, but agro-processing to help the economic grow. We also need to adapt to the weather patterns, it may be a bumper harvest, but also will cause floods in places such as Tsholotsho,”he said.

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