Women, girls on top of UK priorities in Zim

…But UK will not give Zim Government a penny in assistance

Britain says its development assistance to Zimbabwe will focus on empowering women and girls among other priorities, but the United Kingdom will not give money to Zimbabwe Government.

Money in official development assistance will be given through international agencies, donors and civil society.

Last week, Andrew Mitchell, the Minister of State Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Minister for Development and Africa said the UK was committed to supporting Zimbabwe and its people on a path to long-term, inclusive, and resilient development, democracy, and prosperity.

“The UK’s development assistance addresses the priorities in the UK’s International Development Strategy and is aligned with the Government of Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy,” Mitchell said in the House of Commons.

“In particular it is focused on empowering women and girls, promoting global health, responding to humanitarian needs whilst building resilience to climate change, protecting biodiversity and delivering honest reliable investment.

“No UK ODA is channelled directly through Government of Zimbabwe systems. Instead, we work primarily through multilateral organisations, notably United Nations agencies, as well as international NGOs and the private sector,” Mitchell said.

He was responding to Lisa Nandy Shadow Minister (International Development) on the UK policy on the supply of official development assistance to Zimbabwe, in the context of the recent election in that country.

Zimbabwe and the UK have endured a frosty relationship for over two decades and receht efforts at rapprochement – including allowing Zimbabwe to rejoin the Commonwealth – have been agonisingly fruitless.

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