By NewsAfrica Reporter
Following revelations that economic crisis is Zimbabwe had affected funding for 250 000 children eligible for state assistance, UK Department for International Development (DFID) has answered that call with a bailout of $10m with immediate effect.
Statement on British Embassy Facebook page in Harare read, “DFID today announces a grant of around USD10 million to Zimbabwe next month that will benefit around 250,000 eligible BEAM primary school children in 5,415 primary and special schools throughout Zimbabwe in 2014.”
BEAM is a nationwide Government of Zimbabwe education safety net programme for vulnerable children.
Relations between United Kingdom and Zimbabwe have remained frosty since year 2000 elections which international community condemned as falling below internationally acceptable standards. President Mugabe was declared the winner and has remained in office following 2008 and 2013 election “victories”.
UK and other western nations have applied limited punitive measures on Zanu PF regime which have restricted any direct financial assistance to the government.
UK has maintained an open policy in relation to assistance towards reducing poverty and support to a peaceful democratic transition.The policy as stipulated by DFID reads,
“We aim to protect and rebuild Zimbabwe’s capacity to deliver basic services to the poor; promote sustainable livelihoods for the vulnerable, strengthen resilience in households and communities and encourage growth.”
It would imply then that the assistance towards education fund falls under the above policy.
The gesture by DFID appears to dismiss the public utterances by President Mugabe that imply UK as anti Zimbabwe. speaking in October 2013 , Mugabe implied that punitive measures are affected trade between Zimbabwe and EU.
White farmer lies dead following land seizures in Zimbabwe.For atrocities like this West was justified to impose sanctions on Mugabe?
The west have always maintained that Zimbabwe is not under economic sanctions. It is President Mugabe and his henchmen who are listed.They base their argument on drawing a thick line between Zanu PF and Zimbabwe government. The named individuals are accused of directing human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
Calling for removal of sanctions , Mugabe said , “We want the removal of economic sanctions so we can export beef to Europe. Let’s get to trade. Let our flowers find home in the Netherlands.Let our greens find their way into the Dutch market but for as long as there are sanctions, this will be difficult.”
“Sanctions were targeted at Mugabe and his crew not Zimbabweans”-EU
To date only President Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe remain on the EU list of individuals restricted to travel or trade with Brussels.
Head of DFID Zimbabwe Jane Rintoul has this to say, “the UK is very pleased to be able to provide this additional support which I know will make a huge difference to the lives of the children who will benefit along with their families and wider communities.”
The UK’s support in 2012 and 2013 has helped around 330,000 orphans and vulnerable children attend primary school each year.