UN, donors, government counterparts’ discussion in 2013 on phasing out of the Humanitarian-Architecture, leads to discussion on resilience building as a plausible way forward in Zimbabwe. To this end, UNDP with the support of government ministries, UNRCO, and WFP generated a series of evidence pieces to inform the development of the Zimbabwe Resilience Strategic Framework and the set-up of the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund to cover programming gaps. Beyond management of the platform, UNDP remains involved in evidence-building and the application of this evidence in policy making for resilience in Zimbabwe. RC is an integral part of the ZRBF Steering Committee.
The fund has recently been launched and the 3-year community projects have only recently started. However, through the particular set-up, the ZRBF constitutes a broad Platform for building resilience in Zimbabwe (noting that the new GCF proposal will also build on this foundation). Importantly, all three engagement areas of ZRBF (1. Evidence; 2. Increased absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities of at-risk communities; 3. A flexible Crisis modifier built-in have gained substantial trust and go beyond being experimentation spaces for the government and the beneficiaries – they are now becoming drivers of change for UNDP core programming Additionally, ZRBF positions UNDP within the Zimbabwean context to coordinate or jointly coordinate thinking around: SDGs 1,2,5,6 and 13.
Over the last decades, Zimbabwe has experienced a number of unprecedented economic, climatic and social shocks and stresses, many of which will have long-lasting impacts. Poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, and environmental degradation are serious challenges in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas. Due to effects of climate change or extreme weather conditions and poor economic development Zimbabwe has for the last fifteen years, experienced a social and economic crisis that entrenched high levels of poverty. The national poverty rate stands at 62.6% while the rural poverty rate is at 76%, with 30.4% of the rural population living in extreme poverty and 33% of under-5 children stunted (chronically malnourished) . Frequent droughts have resulted in poor cropping and consumption seasons over the last 15 years with an estimated 4.2 million people in need of food assistance between January and March 2017. Total cereal production in 2016 was estimated at 512,000 metric tonnes: 27% lower than in 2015, and about 50% lower than the 2011–2015 average. With this background and increased frequency of hazards, the resilience approach is the most likely successful pathway to development for most affected communities.
The Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) is a long-term development initiative with an overall objective of contributing to increased capacity of communities to protect development gains in the face of recurrent shocks and stresses enabling them to contribute to the development of Zimbabwe. Importantly, the facility is distinct from traditional development projects as it has no fixed log frame but rather works on the basis of calls for proposals defined by the actualized needs on the ground. ZRBF has developed a governance mechanism and vetting process to ensure that funding is allocated to the highest quality of proposals that deliver value for money to eligible partners (UN agencies, INGOs, CBOs, Academia, local government and private sector) to respond to the growing demand for greater collaboration amongst a wide range of actors and support achievement of the results of the engagement areas. The fund also consists of a crisis-modifier which provides appropriate, predictable, coordinated and timely response to risk and shocks to benefitting communities thereby ‘protecting’ the resilience investments made. The ZRBF adds value to fine-tune the design and increase the effectiveness of delivery for integrated solutions to complex development settings that require multi actors’ partnerships and multi-sectoral action across economic, social and environmental issues.
Partners: The ZRBF is funded through the EU (US$ 28 million), DfID (US$ 34 million), SIDA US$ 12 million) and with some seed-funding from UNDP (US$ 2 million). To date, ZRBF has made a total allocation of US$ 37 million to 7 Consortia with a total of 29 partners (UN agency, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, Academia, Private Sector and Local government targeting) a total of 800,000 beneficiaries in 18 prioritized vulnerable rural districts.
Government Partners of Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund:
- Ministry of Land, Agricultural and Rural Resettlement
- Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare
- Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate
- Ministry of Local governance, public works & national housing
- Minister of Finance and Economic Development
- Food and Nutrition Council
Ministry of Land, Agricultural and Rural Resettlement and Fund is managed by United Nations Development Programme, with some coordination with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
United Nations Development Programme in Zimbabwe
OIC The Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund