Zimbabwean Children Receives Support From UNICEF AND SPAR Partnership

UNICEF and SPAR Zimbabwe signed an agreement to collaborate on awareness campaigns in support of UNICEF programmes for children

A Memorandum of Understanding was singed to roll-out joint awareness and communication campaigns on child rights related issues.

Through this collaboration UNICEF highlights how much the organization values the engagement with the private sector to deliver results for the children of Zimbabwe.

For SPAR Zimbabwe the agreement reaffirms the company’s social agenda to contribute to building a better society for all.

The collaboration between UNICEF and SPAR Zimbabwe will focus on sharing messages on health-related issues with the customers of SPAR.

A first campaign was launched a few weeks ago on diarrheal diseases including cholera and preventive measures to protect oneself against the infection, highlighting the importance of handwashing, good hygiene and use of safe water.

“The partnership between UNICEF and Spar Zimbabwe speaks to our private sector engagement for the promotion of the rights and wellbeing of children and their families.

The campaign rolled out through SPAR Zimbabwe network will without doubt reach many people and complement the communication campaigns of the Government, UNICEF and partners in Zimbabwe.

We look forward to further engagement with SPAR Zimbabwe on several issues that focus on the rights and the well-being of children”, said Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe.

As part of the national response, cholera awareness is promoted through SPAR’s social media platforms and in all their 35 stores across the country.

The communication material developed to support the campaign is based on the health messages developed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care. 

“Our collaboration with UNICEF is in line with our Mission Statement “Better Together’ which encapsulates our philosophy of being part of the community in which we operate, not just geographically, but also by being involved at grass-roots level in sustainable community development projects.

Our initiatives are based on our five key pillars of Responsible Retailing which focus on Women, Children, Active and Healthy Lifestyle, Animal Welfare and Environmental issues.

We also work closely with our supplier partners in ensuring that our initiatives are realized to its fullest”, Cypren Borerwe, SPAR Zimbabwe General Manager said.

While UNICEF and SPAR Zimbabwe have agreed to extend the cholera awareness campaign for a few more weeks, both partners are already engaged in talks about other child rights related campaigns for the months to come.    

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Zimbabwe Taking A Lackadaisical Approach To End Poverty

Eradicating poverty in all its forms, everywhere, requires indicators that measure sustainable pathways out of poverty, and not only the absence of acute poverty.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a high standard for human development with the pledge ‘to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment’ according to United Nations General Assembly, 2015.

The first and overarching goal of this agenda is to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

This vision implies a life free from abject poverty, but also a reality where all are empowered to lead a life they value, make their own choices, and reach their full potential.

In an effort to eradicate poverty, the government of Zimbabwe from its several initiatives came up with Temporary Stabilisation programme (TSP) which was then succeeded by the National Development Strategy (NDS1) which is a medium-term plan which sets out the social, economic, governance and environmental development trajectory for Zimbabwe for the period 2021 – 2025.

Sectors have also developed their specific strategic plans guided by the broader NDS1 framework for consistency and coherence purposes. The NDS1 seeks to alleviate poverty through poverty reduction programmes and advance the economy towards an upper middle income as embedded in the Vision 2030 Agenda launched by the government.

Zimbabwe is suffering from immense poverty. In 2019, extreme poverty was at 34 percent, an increase from 29 percent in 2018. This represents a change from 4.7 million to 5.7 million people living in poverty.

The cause of this swift increase was an economic contraction of around 8%.  Poverty has not decreased in 18 years and recent survey show that extreme poverty may have risen by eight percentage in last decade.

The World Bank expects a continued increase in extreme poverty in Zimbabwe in 2023. Fortunately, many organizations are working on innovations in poverty eradication in Zimbabwe to combat this problem. The government besides having good policies on paper, it is lagging behind in implementation.

The 2016 – 2021 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), co-chaired by Government and the United Nations, is the strategic document via which UN Entities channel their support to the achievement of the SDGs in Zimbabwe.

The United Nations in Zimbabwe also supports Government to conduct regular monitoring and reporting on progress towards the SDGs at national and sub-national levels.

In addition, the United Nations regularly facilitates national and local consultations and advocacy campaigns in partnership with the Office of the President and Cabinet, Government Ministries, Parliament, Development Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Youth Group, Media, and the Public on mainstreaming and implementation of the SDGs.

A recent World Bank report, Spatial Patterns of Settlement, Internal Migration and Welfare Inequality in Zimbabwe, suggests that entrenched poverty is a deep rural spatial poverty traps. Land redistribution seems to be failing to nreak the straps created by colonialism.

In 2017, extreme poverty was 13 times higher in rural than urban areas and believed to have nearly double as of late.

In addition to a general economic downturn, several droughts across Zimbabwe have caused the prices for food and other essential goods to rise. These same droughts slumped agricultural production, especially in rural communities, where people were hit the hardest by this downturn.

Zimbabwe has also been struggling with hyperinflation for more than a decade. This problem results from economic mismanagement by the nation’s previous president, Robert Mugabe and even worse in ED Mnangagwa’s leadership. Zimbabwe faces severe hyperinflation, which does not help with its fight against widespread poverty.

Zimbabwe has ample resources and capacities to successfully implement SDGs, if decisive action is taken in policy design and sustained implementation, institutional change and allocation of funds.

Besides a plethora of resources, the country is hit by poverty and hyperinflation, Zimbabwe’s citizens are struggling.

A well-functioning accountability and transparency mechanisms at all levels are key to transform the lives of the poor people in Zimbabwe.

Curbing corruption, closing the tap on resource leakages and loopholes as well as international efforts to cap illicit financial flows which drain financial resources should be implemented and issues such as the gold mafia should be non-existent in developing nations such as Zimbabwe.

Improvements in secondary roads and ICT infrastructure to allow better movement of goods, services, people and ideas should done towards eradicating poverty.

Incentives can be created to enable people to move away from areas that are too densely populated to less dense areas.

In recent months, food shortages, high inflation and power outages have reached critical levels.

Zimbabwe will not be on track to eradicate poverty by 2030 if current growth trends continue going on.

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