EU Aid To Zimbabwe Increases Despite Targeted Sanctions

This US$2 billion was for development assistance for the struggling nation.

The EU this week said since Independence in 1980 it had demonstrated an “unwavering commitment to the people of Zimbabwe”.

“This did not change after the introduction of the measures in 2002, a decision which merely changed the way funds are now channelled into the country,” the EU said.

Things changed after the EU accused the Mugabe regime of abusing funds given to the cash-strapped nation and channelling it towards other less important projects including purchasing luxury vehicles for government ministers and securing military equipment at a time when the nation is not at war with anyone.

“The EU and its member states have so far provided about Euro 1.5 billion (about US$2 billion) in development assistance since 2002,” the EU said.

“In recent years, and particularly since the establishment of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009, the rate of EU assistance has increased considerably. For the two-year period 2009-2010, the EU has provided Euro 365 million.

“The European Commission (EC) alone has provided Euro 90-100 million per year in development assistance to the people of Zimbabwe in the areas of food security and agriculture, social service sectors and the promotion of good governance.”

The EU said for the 2009-2010 agricultural seasons, it had provided funding for more than a quarter of the fertiliser needs of small holder farmers.

“This has significantly contributed to reducing the food security deficit in 2010,” the EU said.

“The EU provided textbooks to almost all children attending primary school. Support for social services was reinforced as a result of a 2009-2010 EU contribution of Euro 80 million to address humanitarian crisis.

“Support for key governance reforms as agreed by the GNU to encourage an environment conducive to credible general elections.”

President Robert Mugabe of Zanu (PF) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from the MDC-T have already told their supporters that they are ready for the watershed elections scheduled for anytime this year.

The EU said the total of Euro 365 million was provided for projects in sectors such as health (Euro 95 million), education (Euro 10 million), orphans and vulnerable children (Euro 20 million), food security and agriculture (Euro 120 million), water and sanitation (Euro 27 million), humanitarian (Euro 23 million), governance (Euro10 million), and other functions such as infrastructure development, and trying to solve the country’s energy crisis (Euro 60 million).

It said further reforms are “necessary in Zimbabwe” with regard to the respect for the rule of law, human rights and democracy.

The EU recently changed its policy for Zimbabwe.

It redirected funding from the GNU to United Nations (UN) organisations and non-state actors, banned visas and imposed asset freezes against 163 persons, mainly Zanu (PF) cronies and their families, and introduced a trade ban on 31 companies.

The EU also introduced an arms embargo on Zimbabwe to force it to adhere to stringent international regulations.

It had, however, removed 35 persons from the list of banned individuals and renewed other measures for a further one year.