Zimbabwe is a country on the edge. It may technically be at peace, but it is suffering war-like trauma to its polity and economy. The international community will soon likely confront the challenge of assisting the country’s difficult transition from a bleak period of economic collapse and authoritarian rule. Fortunately, the world has learned lessons from post-conflict interventions in other countries, many of which it can apply to Zimbabwe once a new leadership is in place. No donor should provide assistance to the government at the present time since a recovery is impossible with the current leadership. But there is no time to waste in developing a multilateral framework to respond to the transition that is unavoidably coming to Harare.
In this Working Paper, Fellows Todd Moss and Stewart Patrick outline key steps that the donor community and multilateral actors can take to promote a locally-owned recovery strategy. These steps include supporting the reconstruction of Zimbabwe's political structure and economy by providing technical and legal assistance, sending immediate food aid, helping to relocate the internally displaced, and helping to formulate an economic recovery strategy.