Zimbabwe: Disburse COVID-19 Youth Funds, Govt Urged

28 May 2020

The National Association of Youth Organisation (NAYO) has called on the government to urgently disburse the COVID-19 youth funds to marginalized rural communities while maintaining transparency over the use of the funds.

The government availed a COVID-19 Youth Relief fund though the money has not been disbursed to those in urgent need which include youths whose informal businesses were destroyed by local authorities recently.

Of concern has been the lack of information to rural communities who might not benefit from the fund.

In a statement, NAYO said the government must through the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation must enhance dissemination of Information on the Youth Relief Fund for reach to marginalized and rural communities.

"Further to this, there is need for transparency in the disbursements made from the Fund and where possible aggregating this information by province, nature of youth beneficiary, gender and age of recipients.

" In addition to this, we emphasize the need for timely dissemination of information on working spaces so as not to prejudice the young people; Government incentives to ease the start of operations for informal sector enterprises and transparency in this regard," reads part of the statement.

The country has seen businesses being negatively impacted by the effects of the lockdown, which has hit mainly, the informal sector, where the majority of the youths are employed.

The prolonged closure of businesses has led to increased poverty among the marginalized community and the government since availed social grants to those heavily affected.

However, NAYO said the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare must disseminate information on available social welfare programs to assist youth with food and other basic amenities given that the majority of youth are unemployed and live below the poverty datum line.

Zimbabwe is currently reeling from the COVID-19 with 76 new cases being recorded yesterday. Currently, there are 103 active cases of the 132 recorded to date.

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