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Donor Governments Prioritize Politics Over Health In Zimbabwe

Inter Press Service: Who is Really Responsible for Collapse of Zimbabwe’s Health Services?
Frédéric Mousseau, policy director at the Oakland Institute

“…Regardless of Robert Mugabe’s fitness for the position [of goodwill ambassador, the commentaries following his appointment and its rescission] do call for a clarification around who and what exactly destroyed the Zimbabwean economy and its health system. Zimbabwe’s economic collapse started after the land reform initiated in 2000. … In the years following the reform, aid from the U.K. and the U.S. went through a major shift that prioritized emergency food aid distributed by Western NGOs over public funding to health and agriculture assistance. In the following years, despite a prevalence of HIV/AIDS exceeding 20 percent — one of the highest in the world — Zimbabwe was excluded from the Global Fund … Zimbabwe was also excluded from other aid packages such as … the PEPFAR program. … The extent of Western outrage created by the nomination of Robert Mugabe as WHO ambassador is an indication that the so-called donors still don’t look beyond politics…” (10/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.