By Bridget Mananavire
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has set aside $5 million to lend to physically challenged persons.
RBZ deputy director for Bank Supervision Division Norah Mukura said the $5m was part of empowerment funds under the central bank’s five-year National Financial Inclusion Strategy.
The money will be given as loans to support projects by People Living with Disabilities (PWD) through various banks.
“We have a $5 million fund which is a revolving loan, meaning you will need to pay it back so that others can also access the funding, this will be disbursed by banks,” Mukura said at a PWD networking meeting in Harare yesterday.
“Under the strategy, we have a thematic working group on PWD which held its first meeting on July 4 and it has people from the ministry of Finance and ministry of Public Service, but you are welcome if you want to contribute.
“The initiatives currently being instituted are expected to enhance financial access by marginalised groups, including PWD to support economic growth and development.
“Through the PWDs thematic working group, RBZ will continue to engage banks and other financial service providers to promote access to financial services by PWDs, including advocating for appropriate infrastructure and products and services for PWD.”
They are over 817 000 PWDs in Zimbabwe, according to the 2012 national census, constituting about six percent of the country’s 13 million population.
Organisers of the meeting, Miracle Missions, said they would make a follow up on the $5 million pledge by the RBZ to ensure the money improves the lives of those living with disabilities.
“All we do as Miracle missions is we empower people. We inform them about what is happening. We believe that the banks are making inroads into serving people and giving them the opportunity to build up maybe a business and that is what we are pushing for.”
“The Reserve Bank mentioned that they had $5 million available to persons with disability and we will follow through on that.
“We will try and push as best as we can to make sure that it gets into the hands of the people, which will be very exciting because it will only help people to have a better life.” Daily News