Australian and local Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are working together in Zimbabwe to enhance food security, reduce maternal and ante-natal related deaths and improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Manicaland Provinces.
The 2011-12 Annual Report for the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) was released this month. The report shows how Australian Government support to NGOs in Africa has increased in recent years with a focus on helping improve peoples’ lives and delivering more opportunities to the most vulnerable and poor - especially women, children, people with disability and people vulnerable to disaster. The AACES program started in July 2011 and is being implemented in Zimbabwe by Community Technology Development Trust and Plan International Zimbabwe with Musasa and St Peters Community Care Program.
Supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), in the first 12 months of the project the NGOs contributed to food security in Zimbabwe by providing 50 female farmers in rural and remote communities with 200 small livestock, improving crop production through the introduction of mechanised conservation agriculture and initiating income generating activities for 50 poor and vulnerable households.
To help improve availability of clean water and improve sanitation and hygiene, AACES NGOs rehabilitated 18 water points which are benefitting nearly 5000 individuals with access to clean safe potable water. To improve health outcomes for mothers and children, NGOs have constructed a Maternity Waiting Home that accommodates 32 expecting mothers and have conducted 68 rights awareness training sessions that reached more than 1600 people.
The impact of the program is illustrated by the transformation it brought by building positive change for the most marginalised people such as women and girls. The program empowered women by increasing their access to health services and providing agricultural support to women small-holder farmers. It has raised awareness of women’s rights and created a stronger basis for women to demand access and control over resources.
Head of AusAID’s Zimbabwe Program, Mr Peter Lindenmayer said “effective support for civil society needs to go beyond funding service delivery to include support for engagement in policy dialogue and related work to assist governments and other stakeholders to meet their obligations to deliver services to poor and marginalised people.”
As the largest AusAID funded NGO program in Africa, AACES supports development in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Annual Report provides an overview of the program's contribution to food security, maternal and child health and water, sanitation and hygiene.
AusAID provides most of its aid in Africa through partners that are trusted to deliver results. AACES NGOs are encouraged to network and collaborate to achieve greater impact through shared learning and synergies. Delivering funding in this way has helped to improve value for money and improve effectiveness.
The AACES Annual Report is available at www. ausaid.gov.au
Notes to Editors
The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. AusAID is an Executive Agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio and reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty. AusAID is strongly committed to evaluating and improving Australia's aid program and to collecting, analysing and publishing development data and other information. For more information please visit: www.ausaid.gov.au
AACES is a partnership of AusAID, ten Australian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and their Africa-based partners. It contributes to the AusAID strategy for Africa through community-based interventions across the sectors of food security, maternal and child health and water, sanitation and hygiene. The program focuses on marginalised communities, with particular attention to women, children, people with disability and people vulnerable to disaster.