Zimbabwe treasury has availed ZW$500 million to fight against the COVID-19, which is part of the mitigatory interventions covering both prevention and support to the productive sector.
The treasury in a press statement, says measures in support of production, will continue to be reviewed, in order to save lives and limit damage to the economy.
“Treasury has since availed ZW$500 million to fight against COVID-19 and is ready to attend to further requests on this issue,” the press statement says.
“In addition, Treasury has provided an additional ZW$50 million to Premier Service Medical Society (PSMAS) for preparedness against COVID-19 and to cater for the health requirements for civil servants who are the majority members of the Society and Treasury will be providing further resources as and when required.”
The treasury, to augment resources required to alleviate the impact of the pandemic, proposes expenditure prioritisation, foreign currency mobilisation, ring-fencing COVID-19 resources, hiring of additional medical staff, social protection and cash transfers and also insurance cover.
On expenditure prioritisation, the treasury is will be redirecting capital expenditure allocations under the 2020 National Budget towards health-related expenditure including water supply and sanitisation programmes.
“The 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT), which is currently ring-fenced for social protection and capital development projects and hence, will ordinarily be channelled towards COVID-19 related mitigatory expenditure,” the treasury says.
Treasury is also working with the Central Bank in mobilising the requisite resources from all possible sources on foreign currency mobilisation.
“During the initial stages, Treasury availed US$2 million for urgent and immediate health related imports and will continue to mobilise and ring-fence the necessary foreign currency required for additional imports for the short to medium term.”
Ring-fencing COVID-19 resources include directing the utilisation of existing national disasters Accounts to serve the purpose of this crisis.
In the hiring of additional medical staff, the Treasury concurred to the unfreezing of over 4 000 health sector posts and creation of an additional 200 medical posts with a view of scaling the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On social protection and cash transfers, the Treasury set aside resources to cover one million vulnerable households under a Cash Transfer programme and payment will commence immediately.
“Treasury will initially be availing an amount of ZW$200 million per month under a Cash Transfer programme over the next 3 months and both the amount and duration of payments will be reviewed as necessary.”
Treasury is also engaging the Health Service Board and Public Service Commission to put into place an insurance cover for government employees who directly interact with COVID-19 patients on insurance cover.