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Zimbabwe, 27 March 2012: United Kingdom invests US $38 million to improve education for Zimbabwe’s children

HARARE, Zimbabwe, 27 March 2012 – The United Kingdom, through its Department of International Development (DFID), has announced an allocation of 24 million pounds (around US$ 38 million) to the second phase of the Education Transition Fund (ETF II) which is managed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe.

This support will help the second phase of the Education Transition Fund to accelerate the revitalisation of the education sector. This fund, that totals US$85 million will focus on three thematic areas;

  1. improving schools systems and governance
  2. improving teaching and learning,
  3. and providing second chance learning opportunities for out of school children to respond to the education rights of 50 percent of children, a large number of whom are girls, who do not proceed to secondary school.

“This contribution is an acknowledgment that education is not only critical for the stabilisation of Zimbabwe but is a crucial building block for its recovery,” said Head of UK Aid, Mr. Dave Fish. “Quality education is essential for the future of Zimbabwe, and we hope that through our support we are contributing to reviving this sector.”

“The success of ETF I has demonstrated the remarkable results that can come out of strategic collaboration between Government, and development partners towards education,” said the Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, Sen. David Coltart. “Already we are seeing impressive improvements in the sector. This second phase will further complement the advances already being made in improving the quality of Zimbabwe’s education.”

This follows the catalytic contribution of $9 million from DFID for the first phase of the Education Transition Fund that successfully completed the massive procurement and distribution of more than 22 million textbooks to all primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe. Already, all books for primary and secondary schools have been distributed, including English, Mathematics, Environmental Science, Shona, Ndebele, History and Geography; shifting the pupil textbook ratio from a crippling 10:1 to 1:1.

“We are grateful to the United Kingdom for their continued support towards equitable access to basic social services in Zimbabwe,” said UNICEF Representative, Dr. Peter Salama. “The ETF II presents a significant opportunity to build back better the education sector and provide all children with equal opportunities that can transform their destiny.”

This support follows other recent investments from the United Kingdom for Zimbabwe’s social sector initiatives that are making a major impact to the most vulnerable members of society. These contributions include US$12 million to the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, US$120 million towards the Health sector in support of maternal and child health and just announced, over US$15 million to support the Basic Education Assistance Module in 2012 allowing over 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children to access primary education.

This contribution adds to the collective financial support to the education the ETF phase II from the Governments of Germany, Finland, the European Union and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and represents a broader investment into the needs of education from various development partners.

For more information contact:

Micaela Marques de Sousa
UNICEF Zimbabwe Chief of Communications
Cell: 0772 124 268

For further information on DFID Zimbabwe Programmes please visit



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