HARARE, May 31 (The Source) – Sweden on Wednesday announced an $8 million grant meant to build the capacity of Zimbabwe’s rural communities to deal with climate-induced disasters.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is managing the five–year, multi-donor fund, dubbed the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF), launched last year.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe Sofia Calltorp said Sweden believes that building resilience is essential in Zimbabwe due to increased occurrence of climatic disasters.
“The Embassy of Sweden is incredibly excited to be partnering with the European Union and DFID in supporting the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund with a contribution of 74 million SEK (approximately $8 million) over three years,” Calltorp said.
“Resilience lies at the heart of Sweden’s new five year strategic commitment to Zimbabwe in fighting poverty, environmental degradation and in ensuring absorptive and transformative capacities in the face of climate change.”
UN resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli said the fund has, in the past year, benefitted 407,000 vulnerable people in nine rural districts through initiatives such as smart agriculture, nutrition and livelihoods, productive asset creation, access to finance and value chain development and community- based natural resources management.
“The nine districts that are currently benefitting from the fund are Binga, Umzingwane, Kariba, Mwenezi, Mbire, Umguza, Bubi, Nkayi and Chiredzi,” Parajuli said.
Zimbabwe has in the past two years had to contend with a drought and heavy flooding, disasters that have caused losses of both human and animal life.