THE SWEDISH government has pledged $24 million to boost the Health Development Fund (HDF) from this year to 2020.
The fund, managed by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), is targeted at improving maternal and adolescent health by strengthening health support systems.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Harare yesterday, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lars Ronnas said it remained a pressing challenge to bring down maternal mortality figures.
“With the agreement we have signed today, Sweden will provide substantial contribution to bring down the maternal mortality rate in Zimbabwe. The agreement is a collective commitment to provide health services of good quality to women,” he said
Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa commended the Swedish government for its commitment to Zimbabwe’s public health system.
“As a country, we would like to thank and acknowledge the support we have received from Sweden and we are aware that you have already started putting your support together for the Health Development Fund,” he said.
Acting Unicef representative to Zimbabwe, Jane Muita said Sweden’s support has not only been financial, but has also included advocacy and technical assistance to ensure the country’s priorities are addressed, while incorporating gender justice and the needs of children and women.