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Projections ... Finance minister Mthuli Ncube wore a face shield while making mid-term budget statement in Parliament on Thursday

Economy

Zim gets Western funding despite sanctions outcry

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ZIMBABWE has so far received US$647.6 million in development assistance from Western countries in the period from January to September 2021 despite claims by the government that it is barred from receiving funding.

 Of the US$647.6 million, at least US$401.7 million was from bilateral partners and US$245.9 million from multilateral partners, according to the 2022 National Budget presented on Thursday by Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube.

While the Zimbabwean government makes noise about sanctions, it is happily receiving aid worth millions in United States dollars from the same countries it accuses of imposing restrictions and the international community without any sense of irony, as budget figures show.

“Mr Speaker Sir, development partners continue to play a pivotal role in supporting Government’s efforts towards the implementation of (National Development Strategy 1) NDS 1 programmes and projects,” Ncube told Parliament.

“During the period January to September 2021, the country received development assistance amounting to US$647.6 million of which US$401.7 million was from bilateral partners and US$245.9 million from multilateral partners.”

“A further US$202.4 million in development assistance is projected during the fourth quarter of 2021.

“In 2022, support from the development partners is projected at US$764.7 million, mainly towards health, agriculture, social protection and governance.”

The government of Zimbabwe has regularly blamed the dire economic performance on sanctions with the country concerned about the impact of the its worsening economic crisis on the region. B

ut there is little evidence to suggest the US and EU sanctions are responsible for Zimbabwe’s troubles. The US blame the crisis on what an official described as “catastrophic mismanagement” of the economy.

The EU also points to economic policies, a poorly carried out land reforms programme, drought and the HIV and Aids pandemic. EU sanctions also target specific individuals both within the Zimbabwean government and associated with it.

 The EU says these restrictions have no impact on the economy of the country. Travel restrictions and a freeze on assets have been imposed, along with the sale of military hardware and equipment which might be used for internal repression.

Recent economic data suggests Zimbabwe’s economy has recently been shrinking as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the average economic output per person. — STAFF WRITER.

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