This was said by Andrew Mitchell MP, Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development when he the future of the United Kingdom’s global aid programme over the next four years.
According to forecasts from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the aid programme in Zimbabwe is set to increase to over US$150 million (£95 million) by 2014/15.
Mitchell also made it clear that Britain stood ready to offer more help if the Inclusive Government implemented the reforms promised in the Global Political Agreement and holds credible elections.
Ambassador Mark Canning said: “This is great news for ordinary Zimbabweans. We have a proven track record of delivering benefits to Zimbabwe and now we will be able to do even more. We will, for example, be able to improve food security for an additional 500,000 people; support 420,000 children to complete five years of primary school; create jobs for 125,000 people (two thirds of whom will be women) and help provide one million people with access to clean drinking water. Amidst so much political propaganda around the issue of so-called sanctions, this demonstrates yet again that the United Kingdom is firmly committed to supporting Zimbabwe and improving the lives of the most disadvantaged.”
Over the next four years the UK’s development programme in Zimbabwe will focus on health, particularly maternal and child health, on education, on increasing access to safe water and sanitation and on continuing to build livelihoods for the most vulnerable.
The announcement was part of a major shake-up of the UK’s aid programme, designed to ensure that UK aid was focused more tightly on the countries where British assistance can have a significant long-term impact on poverty. The UK’s contributions to multilateral development organisations were also scrutinised.
By 2016, DFID will have bilateral programmes in the following countries only – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.