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deepening poverty will continue unless there is reform
sixth Zimbabwean parliamentary election that took place on 31 March
against a backdrop of severe economic, social and political crisis,
ActionAid International is calling for a governance system that
will benefit the poorest and most vulnerable Zimbabweans.
It is estimated
that over 80% of the national population now live under the internationally
recognised poverty line of US$1 per day. Zimbabwe’s HIV and AIDS
prevalence rate is the fourth highest in the world at nearly 25%,
with the hardest hit being women and girls who are experiencing
infection rates of up to 59% in some pockets of the country.
Now that the election
has come and gone, ActionAid International is calling for attention
to be turned to the socio-economic challenges that the country is
facing. Ian Mashingaidze, the Zimbabwe Country Programme Manager,
ActionAid International said: "For as long as the socio-economic
crisis in the country is not resolved urgently, the country will continue
on the current downward spiral. The need to resolve the crisis is
much more urgent than before, regardless of who won or lost the recent
ActionAid International is calling for a governance system that enables
Zimbabwe’s poorest citizens to have meaningful and sustainable livelihoods,
decent jobs, a functional economy, and social security. They must
is committed to upholding the rights of the poor and socially excluded.
It finds that in Zimbabwe, the economic crisis is hitting the poorest
hardest, being characterized by food insecurity and commodity shortages,
triple digit inflation around 124%, foreign currency shortages, falling
GDP per capita (from US$645 in 1995, US$437 in 1999 to US$165 in 2004),
and an unemployment rate of over 70%.
- An economic
programme that revives the productive sector and creates employment
opportunities. Government’s current efforts to address the economic
decline must be enhanced with particular emphasis on reducing
inflation and the budget deficit.
- A guaranteed
system to provide food security for over 6 million people living
in rural and urban areas who might not be able to meet their food
needs this year. Emphasis should be placed on appropriate targeting
of food aid beneficiaries, such as HIV/AIDS affected households,
poor households and female headed households, through community
- Access to
quality health services. Anti-retroviral drugs to improve the
lives of people living with AIDS must be provided to those who
need them. Of the estimated 260,000 people who need antiretroviral
therapy in the country, only about 5,000 are currently receiving
it. Drugs for the treatment of opportunistic infections must be
available. Orphans and children from HIV/AIDS affected households
must be given skills, guidance, love and care. This must be done
through a framework of intervention that put women and girls at
the centre of the national HIV/AIDS response.
- Every child
of school-going age being in a school with all basic facilities/services,
and the restoration of the country’s once world-acclaimed education
- Greater support
from the international development community for a socio-economic
turn around, e.g. through improved trade opportunities, quality
aid, and debt relief.
ActionAid International is a willing and able partner to those who
seek social justice for the poorest and most marginalised. The agency
calls on the Zimbabwean government, the opposition, and civil society
movements to come together and seek a lasting solution to the current
multifaceted crisis in Zimbabwe.
"African people must stand in solidarity with poor people in
Zimbabwe, and to support Zimbabweans to move beyond the narrow confines
of electoral politics to address the deep structural problems that
the country is facing," said Ian Mashingaidze. We
call upon the South African Government, SADC, the African Union and
the international development community to support Zimbabwe turn around
the challenges it is facing, and regain its international status.
the following for further details or comments:
Mr Ian Mashingaidze,
Zimbabwe Programme Manager: +263 4 788 122/3
Makoni, Zimbabwe Programme Policy Coordinator: +263 4 788 122/3
Sande, Director Southern Africa Partnership Programme: +27 82 447
Win, International Women’s Right Coordinator: +27 82 924 6035
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