Abuja Declaration a pipe dream for Zimbabwe: ZDI

HONOURING the Abuja Declaration in Zimbabwe will be an illusion given the track record of underspending towards health by Government which is beneath 15 percent from 2018, a non-partisan thinktank organisation, the Zimbabwe Development Institute (ZDI) says.
In its latest Access to Public Health Monitoring Report, the ZDI bemoaned Government’s funding for the health sector. Despite the marginal increases announced between the 2018 and 2022 National Budget presentations, none reached the 15 percent Zimbabwe commited at the Abuja Declaration in 2015.
For the year 2018, the ZDI notes that towards the Health Sector, the Ministry of Finance allocated 8.9 percent of the national budget, 10.2 percent for 2020 and 12.7 percent for 2022.
“On 25 November 2021, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube presented the country’s 2022 national budget to the Parliament of Zimbabwe. Amidst the continued spread of Covid-19 in the country just like elsewhere across the globe, expectations were high that the health sector would get adequate funding in line with the Abuja Declaration,” the ZDI said. “However, as was the case in previous budgeting years, the 2021 national budget of Zimbabwe failed to allocate the 15% of the total budget to the health sector. Instead, the health sector allocation stood at 12.7% of the total ZWL$927.3 billion which is expected to be expended during the year 2022.”
The Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Ncube while making his budget presentation overstated the allocation to the Health and Child Care Ministry to 14.9 percent.
“However, in his 2022 national budget speech, Minister Mthuli Ncube boldly lied to the nation that “the 2022 national budget has allocated
ZWL$117.7 billion to the Ministry of Health
and Child Care which represents 14.9 of the
budget.” The fact of the matter is that health
ministry was allocated ZWL$117.7 billion against a total budget of ZWL$927.3 billion. As the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube should have found out that health sector’s allocation represents 12.7% of the total budget before making a presentation before the parliament,” ZDI said.
ZDI urged Government to ensure the country’s healthcare delivery system is adequately resourced by meeting the Abuja Declaration.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care
should lobby for sufficient resourcing
amidst Covid-19 in a bid to safeguard the
health sector from future health crises,” ZDI recommended.

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