Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Reporter
The World Bank has provided an additional US$20million for rolling out the second phase of the Results-Based Financing Project (RBF), which aims to improve maternal and child health care in the country. Word Bank country manager Dr Nginya Mungai Lenneiye told people who had gathered for the launch of the second phase of the RBF programme in Concession on Monday that the scaling up of the programme to the remaining 45 districts would significantly increase the number of safe deliveries, regular anti-natal check-ups and family planning services.
“This will contribute greatly to the uniformity and equity of health services provided with the ultimate aim of improving health outcomes for the poor in Zimbabwe. This national scale up would improve service utilisation with the removal of the financial burden for maternal health care,” he said.
“The World Bank intends to continue this collaboration with Government and all Development Partners active in all aspects of health systems strengthening, including a scaling up of the RBF approach.”
The RBF phase started in July 2011, with a World Bank grant of US$15 million which enabled the country to double the number of beneficiaries in 18 districts.
The World Bank, he said, would continue to support the generation of evidence needed for better planning so that Government could achieve value-for-money in the health sector.
“The grant of US$20 million we are launching today will give the country an opportunity to build a strong partnership for a sector-wide RBF programme covering the entire country,” Dr Lenneiye said.
“The World Bank sees the grant as a catalyst towards greater collaboration and ownership of the results agenda between the Ministry of Health and all development partners active in the health sector.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr Samuel Undenge said Government would provide US$5 million as co-funding for the programme to be rapidly rolled out in all parts of the country next year.
“We will continue to increase our co-financing to the World Bank grant from US$1 million in 2013 to US$5 million in 2014 and hopefully more to the extent our fiscal circumstances permit,’ he said.
“We plead with other developmental partners to consider doing the same so that we can build on the initial successes and expertise developed in the country.”
Deputy Minister Undenge said the RBF model developed through World Bank and Cordaid support would enable Zimbabweans to access quality health services.
“The RBF programme partnership aptly demonstrates the huge potential our country has and can realise from working with development partners on well designed, high impact interventions that directly target the poor and contribute to the development of our human capital.
“The Government of Zimbabwe urges the World Bank and other multilateral agencies we owe repayments, to provide grants of such catalytic nature that can place our country towards the path to sustainable recovery while we sort out the re-engagement and arrears clearance process.
“We are fully committed to fully re-engaging with the global community for the benefit of our population and there is no better demonstration of the benefits of our re-engagement than the successful partnership we have enjoyed in health with the World Bank since 2011.” The Results Based Financing programme responds directly to the Government’s objective of increasing access to and utilisation of health services by the poor.