Background to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has an estimated population of 13 million people and is ranked 172 out of 186 countries in the 2012 Human Development Index. Despite an estimated low unemployment rate of 10.7%, 94% of workers earn incomes below the consumption poverty line (2011 Labour Force Survey, ZimStat). In 2012, Gross Domestic Product projections were revised downwards from 11.9% to 4.0%, posing serious concerns for continued widespread multidimensional poverty and vulnerability. Persistent policy inconsistencies along political lines continue to militate against direct foreign investment.
Zimbabwe lags behind in most social sector expenditure targets, with just 8% allocated to health against a target of 15%, 0.4% to social protection against 4.5%, 0.4% for water against 1.5% (Ministry of Finance Budget Statement, 2011). These low allocations are aggravated by significant differentials between budget allocations and actual disbursements. For example, the Ministry of Education, Sport, Art and Culture received USD 6.2 million against an allocation of USD 77 million non-wage expenditures by the end of September 2012, representing 8% of budget release against the budget allocation, and 1.6% as a percentage of the total release of funds from Treasury from January-September 2012.
Comparisons of 2005/6 and 2010/11 data suggest that Zimbabwe is off-track in meeting the majority of 2015 MDGs. Maternal, neonatal and child mortality remain high: