THE United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has stopped funding of all Communal Areas Management for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) projects in Zimbabwe
amidst allegations that the decision was politically motivated.
The suspension of the funding is likely to lead to the collapse of projects run by rural communities in over 50 rural district councils throughout the country.
The USAid withdrawal is one of many by international donors from Zimbabwe in protest against the deteriorating political situation.
A spokesman from the United States embassy confirmed that USAid had stopped funding of Campfire projects but denied the political dimension.
“The reason USAid ceased funding Campfire projects is not political. Our funding of the projects has reached its legislative limits,” said the spokesman.
“All United States overseas projects have a five-year lifespan but we have been running Campfire projects in Zimbabwe for over 13 years,” he said.
He said USAid had spent over US$8 million on Campfire projects over the 13-year period.
“USAid’s focus now is on the humanitarian areas. In the last 13 years we spent over US$28 million on the development of rural communities through the programmes we were funding,” he said.
Projects funded by USAid included community-fishing, eco-tourism, hunting concessions, photographic safaris and clinics, among others.
The US spokesman said Campfire projects had helped communities establish clinics and schools.