The February 16 edition of The Herald newspaper published a page one article that carried a great deal of misinformation regarding USAID support to the NGO sector in Zimbabwe. One of the greatest pieces of erroneous information was contained in the headline itself, which asserted that the United States provided $850 million in funds to Zimbabwe NGOs between 2011 and 2014. We would like to set the record straight:
Fact: In Zimbabwe, USAID provides funding to improve food security, increase agricultural production and farmer incomes, support economic resilience and develop small businesses, promote civil society and democratic engagement, and provide health services to save lives.
Fact: In FY 2014, the U.S. Government provided approximately $160 million in assistance to Zimbabwe, $130 million of which went to improving health services for Zimbabweans in areas including HIV AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, nutrition, maternal/child health and reproductive health.
Fact: For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have provided over $2.6 billion in assistance to the people of Zimbabwe, including significant food aid and emergency relief during times of critical need.
Fact: The U.S. Government works with a variety of partners and organizations and adheres to the highest standards for accountability for U.S. funds. The U.S. Government takes seriously allegations regarding misuse of resources. The USAID Office of the Inspector General is an independent office responsible for investigating such claims.
Members of the public who are interested in learning about the facts regarding USG assistance in this country will find accurate information at the official U.S. Government website: http://www.usaid.gov/results-and-data/budget-spending/congressional-budget-justification#.