THE European Union has given Zimbabwe $270 million for the development of governance structures, health and the agriculture sectors under the National Indicative Programme (NIP).
The programme is a joint framework between the government and the EU that will guide the formulation and implementation of projects funded by the 11th European Development Fund (11th EDF) country allocation to Zimbabwe.
The grant followed the lifting of sanctions by the EU under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement on 1st November 2014 which paved way for direct engagement between government and the powerful funding bloc.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the grant in Harare Monday the Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, said they wanted government to formulate a clear political dialogue policy.
“We have made an important step in our cooperation with Zimbabwe. We look forward to work in all the strategic and important areas covered by this National Indicative Programme, with the aim to foster the political and economic reforms Zimbabwe is undertaking. A fruitful political and policy dialogue should underpin our cooperation.”
Willard Manungo the Secretary for Finance and Economic Development who was standing in for the Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said:
“The EU support will go a long way in complementing government’s efforts in providing an enabling environment for sustainable economic empowerment and social transformation to the people of Zimbabwe, as we implement ZIM-ASSET. Government remains committed to full reengagement with the EU and, in particular, to the successful implementation of the 11th EDF”.
For over decade the donor community was distributing development aid through NGOs because of sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his close allies over reports of state terrorism and electoral fraud.