Ms Maria do Valle Ribeiro from Ireland recently appointed as United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Republic of Zimbabwe has pledged to work hard towards supporting the Government and the people of the country to build a peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development and inclusive economic growth.
The UN senior official said there is a need to help change the narrative of Zimbabwe, recognising the need for reforms but also the progress made that stakeholders can continue to build upon.
She revealed that as a result of unprecedented climate and economic shocks, the humanitarian needs have unfortunately increased in Zimbabwe. The UN is working closely with the Government and the humanitarian partners to meet the priority life-saving multi-sectoral needs of the most vulnerable people affected by the humanitarian situation. The development partners have demonstrated great solidarity, and the Revised Humanitarian Appeal is 51% funded with USD 240 million mobilised to date.
Ms Ribeiro said equally important is to continue building the necessary linkages between humanitarian and development support in which the United Nations has been delivering over USD 400 million annually (representing over 60% of Official Development Assistance to the country) under the 2016 -2021 Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework in a form of various development projects in social services, HIV, food and nutrition security, gender equality, good governance, and poverty reduction.
“I recognise the ambitious and difficult economic reform measures undertaken by the Government under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and the IMF Staff-Monitored Program. I also recognise the critical importance of social safety net for the vulnerable groups to cushion the impact of the economic austerity measures. The UN is jointly working with the Government to strengthen the social safety net – including provision of basis services in health and education – and scale up social protection programmes as well as efforts to build resilience of at-risk communities.
“I commend the Government for inviting several Special Rapporteurs to assess different human rights issues in Zimbabwe. I look forward to supporting the Government to take forward the recommendations resulting from these Special Rapporteurs’ visits, as well as continued support to the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations. I recognise that the national development planning process provides an important opportunity for convergence of national visioning through dialogue and inclusive citizen participation. Together with partners, the UN stands ready to support the preparation of the next five-year National Development Plan (2021-2025) that is also fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals,” Ms Ribeiro said.
Brief Bio of Ms. Maria Ribeiro
The Secretary General has appointed Ms Maria do Valle Ribeiro (Ireland) as United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Republic of Zimbabwe, with the host country’s agreement.
Ms Ribeiro brings to the position over 30 years of humanitarian and development leadership experience in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean with the United Nations and International NGOs. She served as UN Deputy Special Representative UNSMIL, January 2017 until September 2019.