UNICEF Zimbabwe 2013 in Review
© UNICEF 2014
Multiple sources of data suggest that
children in Zimbabwe in 2013 are better off than they were 5 years ago. During
2013, amidst pre-election uncertainties, the UNICEF Zimbabwe Country Office
(ZCO) supported basic social services to women and children, primarily through
multi-donor transition funds in health, education, child protection and Water,
Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), contributing to the following achievements:
- All primary health clinics offered free
maternal/child health services and 87.2% have at least 80% of essential
medicines (83.7% in 2012); immunization coverage was maintained at 95%; nearly
3 million children were reached with mass drug administration for
schistosomiasis and intestinal worms; 70% of health facilities offered
integrated management of newborn/childhood illness and neonatal resuscitation;
81% of HIV positive-pregnant women received prophylactic antiretrovirals
(ARVs); paediatric antiretroviral therapy coverage (ART) increased to 52% from
42% (2012) and over 4,000 young people participated in HIV-related activities.
- Access to education was maintained with
95.6% primary net enrolment rate (95.2% male, 96% female) and 52% secondary net
enrolment rate (49.3% male, 50% female). The gender parity index is 1.01 and
primary completion rate is 86.7%. Education access and quality were enhanced by
maintaining a 1:1 pupil-to-textbook ratio, training and effective supervision
of teachers in 35% (2,865) of primary and secondary schools, and improved WASH.
- 90,000 vulnerable children (58% female, 42%
male) received child protection services, including services for children
living with disabilities. Cash transfers
benefited 33,200 poor households, encompassing 97,561 children, while 272 (out
of 355) alleged child offenders received juvenile justice assistance.
- Approximately 1 million people in urban
areas received improved water supply, 6,000 people benefited from rehabilitated
sewage collection and 166,000 people in 7 urban centers received hygiene
messages. Improved urban council billing systems strengthened government
ability to sustain services. In rural
areas, 78,278 persons (35,279 male, 43,449 female) benefited from 384 new bush
pumps and 97 repaired boreholes. Access to safe drinking water increased from
95.1% (MIMS 2009) to 97.8% (PICES 2012). Cholera was reduced from 98,531 cases
and 4,282 deaths in 2008 to 6 cases and 0 deaths (Ministry of Health 2013).
- The policy environment was strengthened
through the launch of the National Life Skills, Sexuality and HIV Education
Strategy, the National Youth Policy, the National Rural WASH Policy and the
National Combination HIV Prevention Strategy.
Nonetheless, women and children continue to
face barriers to utilization of services due to user fees, distance, cost of
transport and religious beliefs, while geographic and wealth disparities
persist. Given that 72% of households live in poverty (22.5% of which live in
extreme poverty), UNICEF is prioritizing addressing these inequities and their
The transition funds are aligned with the
ZCO Country Programme (CP) cycle (2012-2015).
National budget constraints raise concerns about the Government’s
ability to sustain gains beyond 2015. In
2014 UNICEF will continue strengthening government systems to deliver quality
services nationwide, advocate for budget allocations, and support the
Government and civil society to build the resilience of families in a context
of high poverty and food insecurity.