Updated: December 1 2017
For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have invested over $3 billion in Zimbabwe. Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and advance a more democratic system of governance.
The top three health threats facing the people of Zimbabwe are HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria (PDF 84 KB). According to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey for 2010-11, adult HIV prevalence is currently at 15 percent, compared to 18 percent in 2005-06 and 25 percent in 1997. Despite the decline, HIV/AIDS continues to be the leading cause of death among Zimbabwean adults.
USAID has invested nearly $100 million annually in Zimbabwe supporting a broad portfolio of health programs in order to provide treatment for and prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, and help make integrated reproductive, maternal, and child health care services more accessible to families. Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID helps to reduce illness and death caused by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases like tuberculosis, especially among women and children. In addition, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative supports Zimbabwe’s national goal by providing bed nets, spraying to eliminate mosquitoes, and providing assistance in diagnosis and treatment to combat malaria in 45 districts.
USAID aims to reduce poverty and address the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition for vulnerable populations to improve resilience and reduce future food needs. The Feed the Future Presidential initiative helps over 61,000 smallholder farmers and other underprivileged households each year to increase agricultural productivity, rural employment, and household incomes through improved agricultural practices and strengthened commercial linkages to markets.
In addition to USAID’s support for agriculture, U.S. assistance promotes economic reform and recovery in Zimbabwe by giving policy makers access to evidence-based economic research and analysis. USAID supports policy dialogue by bringing together government, the private sector, and other key stakeholders to discuss key economic policy issues. USAID also funds training to improve workforce and entrepreneurship skills for job seekers.
Democracy, Rights and Governance
Through its democracy and governance programs, USAID promotes democratic governance by supporting Zimbabwean efforts to improve government accountability and responsiveness to citizens’ needs.
Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
USAID believes in promoting gender equality and seeks to ensure that development programs have positive impacts on both men and women. Programs emphasize creating space for women to be part of decision-making processes both in the context of the activity and in their communities. This enables them to have equal access to and control of information and resources.
USAID, through Food for Peace, is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe, contributing more than one billion dollars in humanitarian assistance, including food aid, since 2002. Since 2009, USAID’s efforts focus on helping Zimbabwe to progress from relief and recovery to sustainable development and greater food security.
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Knowledge of modern family planning methods (PDF 152 KB) is nearly universal in Zimbabwe. The 2010/2011 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Service (ZDHS) survey found that 98 percent of women and 99 percent of men aged 15-49 know at least one modern method of family planning. The ZDHS also found that, while the overall contraceptive prevalence rate has remained largely unchanged at 59 percent from the previous 2005/2006 ZDHS, there has been a significant drop in contraceptive prevalence rates in urban areas from 70 percent to 62 percent. Additionally, the national unmet need for family planning services remains static at 13 percent, fluctuating from 26 percent in Matabeleland South Province to nine percent in Mashonaland Central Province. This indicates a need to amplify efforts to extend family planning services to populations in hard-to-reach areas of Zimbabwe.
Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Currently, Zimbabwe experiences one of the highest maternal (PDF 156 KB) mortality rates in the region (960 per 100,000), with six women dying each day of pregnancy related complications. Three quarters of these deaths are preventable, with the most common causes being postpartum hemorrhage, infection, pregnancy related hypertension, and malaria. Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care estimated that forty five percent of women who died of pregnancy-related complications were HIV positive. About one in 11 children die before their fifth birthday and 60 percent of these deaths occur within the first year of life. Pneumonia, diarrhea, and HIV are the most common causes of under-five mortality, all of which are preventable. Zimbabwe also suffers from increasingly high rates of chronic malnutrition, with one in three children chronically stunted.
Updated: December 1 2017
Zimbabwe is the 17th highest tuberculosis (TB) burden country (PDF 156 KB) in the world, and TB is the second leading cause of severe illness and mortality in Zimbabwe. The most significant contributing factor to the TB burden is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Approximately 80 percent of TB patients are co-infected with HIV. This co-infection remains a major factor propelling the high death rate among TB patients in Zimbabwe. Most cases of TB are found in the urban areas of Zimbabwe. Over the last five years, the number of TB cases detected annually has ranged between 40,000 and 48,000.