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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - WIDER Working Paper
Title Poverty, changing political regimes, and social cash transfers in Zimbabwe, 1980-2016
Issue 2017/88
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/wp2017-88.pdf
Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been under some pressure to provide more fully for its
children. It is not clear whether child poverty has worsened, although AIDS, drought, and
economic mismanagement have all compromised poverty reduction. In any case, child poverty has
come under increased scrutiny, in part because of the Millennium Development Goals and the
growing interest in new kinds of intervention among international agencies and donors. Zimbabwe
might have adopted the child-oriented cash transfer programmes or subsidies associated with one
or other of the ‘models’ developed by its richer neighbours to the south (South Africa, Botswana,
Namibia). It might also have adopted the models favoured, and promoted energetically, by the
World Bank, UNICEF, and other external agencies. But ZANU-PF—which was in power until
2009 and after 2013, and shared power between those dates—resisted cash transfer programmes,
favouring instead agricultural interventions (including land reform and farm input subsidy
programmes). ZANU-PF’s ambivalence towards cash transfer programmes represents political
choices informed by the nature of Zimbabwean society and politics.

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