Zimbabwe civil society groups face Canadian aid cut

Election monitoring and pro-democracy groups in Zimbabwe are expecting to lose one of their major funders by 2013 — prompting concerns over their capacity to help ensure the country’s upcoming elections will be clean and free.

Zimbabwe is one of eight countries on the chopping block as the Canadian International Development Agency prepares to absorb a 377 million Canadian dollars ($377.7 million) cut to its budget. The suspension of CIDA’s aid programs in the country includes the end of the agency’s support to civil society groups there, according to the Globe and Mail.

The termination of said support comes as Zimbabwe prepares to hold a landmark election in mid-2013. Civil society groups consider this election, which follows a tainted poll in 2008, a watershed moment for Zimbabwe.

“We’re concerned about these cuts, since CIDA is one of our main partners,” said Rindai Vava, head of the coalition group Zimbabwe Election Support Network, as quoted by news agencies. “We’re definitely going to feel the impact if they don’t give advance support to us before shutting down.”

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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