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Long-term development assistance
Once one of the most developed economies in Africa and a regional breadbasket, today Zimbabwe is in crisis due to decades of economic and resource mismanagement and political instability. In 2009, more than half of Zimbabwe's population of 12 million was dependent on international food aid for survival. Zimbabwe was ranked as the second most fragile state in the world according to Foreign Policy's 2009 Failed States Index. In 2012, Zimbabwe ranked 172 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's human development index.
As of October 2010, Zimbabwe's economy is precarious but stable. A fragile Government of National Unity has set out a credible budget and reforms. Its Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme (PDF, 611 KB, 122 pages) assigns a lead ministry to each of five cluster areas—economic, infrastructure, social, security, rights and interests—and commits each ministry to specific targets. Media freedom has improved, and many schools and hospitals have been restored.
Government revenues, most of which are generated through a sales tax, are growing but not enough to cover essential state services such as education, health care, sanitation, and water supply.
The Government of Zimbabwe does not receive any direct assistance from Canada. Rather, Canadian funds are channelled through international and non-governmental organizations such as the World Food Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund, Oxfam Canada and CARE Canada
The goal of Canada's international development program in Zimbabwe is to address basic health needs and improve human rights so that citizens can participate in democratic reforms.
Canada continues to focus on increasing access to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in order to improve the lives of women and children. This includes preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and supporting the implementation of the Zimbabwe National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (PDF, 3 MB, 48 pages). Investing in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment also helps to improve the delivery of basic health care.
Canada also continues to protect the human rights of women and other marginalized groups. Investments through Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations will increase the likelihood of a future peaceful electoral process and help to promote human rights and the rule of law.
Democratic governance is one of the Government of Canada's five priority themes for international assistance and one of Canada's cross-cutting themes.
Zimbabwe does not officially endorse the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages). Like-minded member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, however, have established mechanisms to ensure coordination in addressing urgent priorities and to avoid flowing funds through government systems.
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