Sweden impressed by UN cooperation in Zimbabwe

ILO, UNFPA, City of Harare and Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe contributed a total of US$800 000.00 for the construction of the clinic, youth centre and a demonstration cobblestone road all constructed by the youth.

News | 15 July 2019
Contact(s): ILO Harare Office Tel +2634369806-12 Email: harare@lo.org
(ILO News, Harare): Charge d'affaires at the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe Mr. Martin Jornrud last Thursday applauded the collaborating United Nations (UN) agencies for their cooperation in developmental initiatives that empower women and youth, as well as promoting gender equality.

Mr. Jornrud made the remarks at the World Population Day commemorations, which coincided with the official opening of Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre by the President of Zimbabwe H.E Emmerson Mnangagwa in Hopley, a suburb south of the capital, Harare.

Hopley is semi-formal settlement in Harare South District with a population of approximately 200 000, out of which about 65 000 are between 10-24 years. The suburb has high levels of migration, poor infrastructure, weak social services, low education, early marriages and high teenage pregnancies, high unemployment and informality. Prevalence of child marriages and teenage pregnancies are at 18 percent and 21 percent respectively, while at least 70 percent of women are mothers by age 24 years.

The clinic and youth center are products of a public-private-partnership to improve sexual reproductive health outcomes and reduce vulnerability through skills development and economic empowerment. The partnership brought together the ILO, UNFPA, Lafarge Holcim Cement Zimbabwe and the City of Harare, complemented by other UN agencies, such as UNDP through the Global Fund, which installed solar energy infrastructure to power the facilities.

“In commemorating this day, Sweden is deeply impressed by the work of young people on this centre. We therefore urge young Zimbabweans to live healthy and reproductive lives. It is through UN cooperation that this project is alive,”
said Mr. Jornrud.

He also revealed that the Government of Sweden is Zimbabwe’s third biggest donor with over US$30 million channelled towards development projects yearly. Over $3 million of the grant is funding an ILO CO-Harare Green Enterprise Innovation and Development project (December 2017 – November 2020), whose developmental objective is to contribute to SMEs growing and creating more and better jobs for women and men, through gender equality skills development and sustainable enterprises practices.

As guest of honour, President Mnangagwa reiterated government’s commitment to future collaboration with the UN.

President Mnangagwa being shown around the clinic by CoH Health Services Director Dr. Prosper Chonzi

He warned those engaging in child marriages that they risk arrest, urging young boys and girls to finish school to better improve their future life outcomes.
At the same occasion, the UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Bishow Parajuli said this year’s World population Day commemorations were unique as they coincided with the celebrations of the UNFPA’s 50-year anniversary, as well as the ILO’s Centenary. He noted that for both UN agencies, these were important milestones in the commitment through the ICPD signed 25 years ago to the fight for gender equality and the promotion of decent work globally, since 1919. On the former, Mr. Parajuli said Zimbabweans should shun Gender Based Violence (GBV) and urged stakeholders to advance the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) for women and girls.

The UNFPA Country Director for Zimbabwe, Dr. Esther Muia said that her organisation will continue working to change lives of people targeting women, young people and families. “Development is about people. The establishment of this clinic is because we do not want to see women die while bringing life in this world,” said Dr. Muia.

The official opening event was attended by cabinet ministers; senior government officials; community leaders and development partners.