UNICEF Announces Scaling Up of Cash Transfer Scheme for Zimbabwe's Orphans

Around 80,000 Zimbabwean households with vulnerable children will benefit from a nationwide scheme that combines cash transfers with access to basic social services, social welfare and justice, thanks to a multidonor fund supported by UNICEF and European donors.

The National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Phase II will be supported by UNICEF’s Child Protection Fund, with donations from the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Commission.

The first phase of the program, launched in 2005, mobilized $85 million for education, health, nutrition and social welfare programs benefiting more than 500,000 children. The program’s first phase also strengthened the capacity of Zimbabwe’s government to build safety nets for children and their families.

The program’s second phase has so far already mobilized $45 million out of the $75 million needed for the next three years, UNICEF says.  

It will have three main interventions: cash transfers to the poorest families, education assistance, and child-protection service delivery for survivors of abuse, violence and exploitation. 

HIV is a significant contributor to household poverty in Zimbabwe, where more than 1 million children are orphans. Only about half of them are able to access external support.

Under the program, child-headed households, grandparent-headed households and those with large numbers of dependents will receive cash transfers of up to $25 a month for food and health care. The cash transfers will commence end of November in the 10 poorest districts in each of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces. 

Aside from the 80,000 households being targeted, the program aims to provide at least 25,000 children access to quality child-protection services.

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  • Che de los Reyes

    As a senior staff writer, Che focuses on international development breaking news coverage as well as interviews and features. Prior to joining Devex, Che handled communications for local and international development NGOs and government institutions in the Philippines.