The EU’s partnership with the people of Zimbabwe is longstanding. Since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, the EU has provided development assistance to the country. The introduction of the measures in 2002 has not resulted in a reduction of EU development assistance; rather, the provision of assistance was directed solely through non-government channels.
The National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Zimbabwe has been allocated a global allocation of €234 million for the period 2014-20 under the 11th European Development Fund. In the framework of the NIP, the EU cooperation will focus on 3 main sectors, namely:
- Agriculture-based economic development;
- Governance and institution building.
In 2012, as a direct response to the Government of National Unity’s efforts to improve the freedom and prosperity of the Zimbabwean people, the EU decided on the suspension of application of the appropriate measures. This underlines the EU’s commitment to support the country and constitutes a significant step in the process towards normalised relations between the EU and Zimbabwe. It also enables the EU to develop assistance programmes so that the country can potentially benefit from the 11th European Development Fund from 2014 to 2020.
The EU and its member states have since 2009 provided over US$1 billion in development assistance, with an emphasis on supporting the provision of social services and food security, reinforcing democratic institutions, and fostering economic recovery. EU developmental programmes are increasingly aligned with national policies.
EU support to Zimbabwe was able to deliver the following achievements:
- 22 million textbooks have been distributed through the Education Transition Fund (ETF) to all primary and secondary schools so that Zimbabwean children have books in all core subjects.
- Over half a million orphans and vulnerable children are able to access primary education by having their school fees covered.
- Availability of medicines and medical staff in health facilities across Zimbabwe has been improved.
- Some 700,000 small scale farmers have been supported to improve productivity and sustainability in agriculture – benefitting millions of Zimbabweans in the rural areas.
- Improved access to water and sanitation for more than 6 million people.
- Supported the Constitution-making process as well as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission