By A Correspondent- Government yesterday revealed that 23% of children in the country were out of school due to economic challenges.
This was said by Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare where she said the figures were arrived at after a research done by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee led by the Food and Nutrition Council conducted in May 2021.
“The research conducted revealed that financial constraints, age and adolescence pregnancy were some of the notable reasons why about 23% of the children were not in school,” Mutsvangwa said.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has witnessed increased support from Treasury and, a reduction of assistance from the development partners. At least 54% of the households received support from government, with development partners complementing these efforts by supporting 25% of the households,” she said.
Mutsvangwa claimed that average household monthly support for the vulnerable increased from US$33 in 2020 to US$75 in 2021.
On COVID-19, Mutsvangwa said the country was on high alert after experiencing a surge in weekly cases from 226 during the week ending June 6, 2021 to 596 in week ending June 14, 2021.
“Cabinet further approved the localised lockdowns in hotspot areas, such as Kwekwe, Kariba and Hurungwe districts. In addition, Zimbabwe’s neighbours are also experiencing surges in new COVID-19 cases and deaths.”
She said 95,6% of COVID-19-positive cases were attributable to local transmission, adding that the police and other law enforcement agents would increase roadblocks and patrols to ensure compliance with the recently announced COVID-19 containment measures.
“Health Inspectors will vigorously enforce laid down standard operating procedures for restaurants, retailers, public transporters and other commercial operators, including revoking operating licences where necessary,” she said.
Mutsvangwa also announced that Cabinet has adopted principles of the Air Zimbabwe Debt Assumption Bill so that it clears the airline’s domestic and external debt following the appointment of a new board and management to run the airline.
“It is expected that the Bill will ensure revival of the airline and its associated companies from perennial loss-making entities, to enablers of growth in tourism, trade, commerce and the economy in general,” she said.