THE Zimbabwe National Taskforce (NTF) for monitoring commitments the country made at the 25th International Conference on Population Development (ICPD), has hit the ground running in ensuring the pledges Zimbabwe made at the Nairobi summit in 2019 are fulfilled.
By Michael Gwarisa
The taskforce was set up in November 2020 and it comprises of government ministries and departments, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Academia, United Nations Agencies operating in Zimbabwe and other organizations and stakeholders. The Ministries of Finance and that of health and Child Care are co-chairs to the taskforce.
Speaking at the Progress review & Planning Meeting for the Zimbabwe National Task Force on the ICPD, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development representative, Sylocious Chaturuka said they were mobilizing for more financial resources to finish the ICPD Programme of Action as well as sustain the gains that have been already made.
Using national budget processes, we want to increase domestic financing and explore new and innovative financing instruments and structures to ensure full, effective and accelerated implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
“The government of Zimbabwe commits to allocate at least 15 percent of the national budget to the health sector with specific allocation for SRHR and Family Planning, by 2030; Improve allocations from the HIV and Airtime levies to SRHR and Family Planning by at least 5 percent; allocate 10 percent of the Global Fund allocated to Zimbabwe to SRHR and Family Planning as per Global Fund Financing Framework; and finalize and implement the National Health Insurance Scheme,” said Chaturuka.
She added that Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy (NDS1) was also in sync with the ICPD commitments and they both speak to each other. She also said and government seeks to advance both the ICPD25 commitments and NDS1 to accelerate attainment of the pledges that were made in Nairobi.
Dr Munyaradzi Murwira, the Zimbabwe National Family Planning (ZNFPC) Executive Director said the NDS1 was also critical in ensuring commitments that were made in Nairobi come to fruition.
“Some of the key commitments we made as a country include those that deal with Universal Access to Sexual Reproductive Health Services including Universal Primary Healthcare services. We have commitments to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. We have commitments to deal with young people, commitments to do with Gender Based Violence and Commitments to deal with humanitarian crises and those to increase domestic funding as well as to empower youths and their involvement in the economic development of the country.
“The National Development Strategy is a build up of a lot of consultations that happened across all sectors and commitments are part and parcel of the issues and strategies that have been addressed in the NDS. The key priority areas in the national development strategy encompass the commitments that were made in Nairobi, ICPD,” said Dr Murwira.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health Chairperson, Dr Ruth Labode said they had also made strides together with the Thematic committee on HIV and AIDS in pushing for the amendment of the law that make it difficult for young people and adolescents from accessing health services.
“The ICPD 25 in Nairobi was a sign that the world was acknowledging a problem especially with Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). It was a meeting to galvanize resources and raise funds and some were there to say we will assist third world countries to access some of these needs such as family planning and contraceptives services.