African Development Bank and World Food Programme (WFP) teams in Zimbabwe held a two-day workshop on 28 and 29 October 2019 to explore ways of consolidating efforts in aid of the country’s socio-economic development.
The workshop was premised on the global Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Bank and WFP in 2010 to build synergies and consolidate efforts to achieve their mutual mandates.
The Bank team was led by Country Manager Damoni Kitabire while WFP was led by Janvier Litse, Senior Adviser and the Zimbabwe Country Office Director, Eddie Rowe. The two sides shared their activities, strategies as well as potential synergies for collaboration in the short, medium and long-term.
WFP Country Office Director Rowe said his organization was keen to collaborate with development partners such as the Bank in its efforts to improve livelihoods in Zimbabwe. Around 63% of Zimbabwe’s population live below the poverty line, according to the Vulnerability Assessment Mapping (VAM) released early this year.
Once renowned as the breadbasket in southern Africa, Zimbabwe is experiencing serious food shortages with 5.5 million people in rural areas and 2.2 million of the urban population being food insecure, according to VAM. The country is grappling with socio-economic challenges, mostly caused by global economic shocks and natural disasters like drought, floods and climatic changes that have negatively impacted agricultural production.
Bank programmes currently under implementation that were highlighted as potential areas of cooperation with the WFP include; Beef and Leather Value Chain Project ($1.9 m), Youth and Women Empowerment Project ($4.7m), ClimDev ($411,000), Innovative Solutions to Support the Livelihoods of Vulnerable Communities ($1.4m), Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi), and Water and Sanitation programmes – (Bulawayo Water Supply and Sewerage Improvement Project ($33m) ZimFund Water and Sanitation projects and the Zimbabwe Integrated Urban Water Management Project in Marondera Municipality ($2m).
Bank Country Manager Kitabire expressed gratitude to the WFP team for seeking deeper collaboration with the Bank in support of Zimbabwe, which is currently experiencing economic challenges. Bank projects in Zimbabwe are currently valued at $230 million. The teams pledged to continue their dialogue toward establishing a working mechanism in the short, medium and long term.