Norway resumes aid to Zimbabwe

The Norwegian government, one of the first to renew badly needed aid, said it would give 58 million crowns via non-governmental organisations, the World Bank and United Nations, avoiding the government financial system.

The money will be used mainly to boost health and education and support the new government of national unity, a statement said.

"Zimbabwe has stared down into the abyss, but is determined to climb out of it. If the new government proves capable of functioning, Zimbabwe could become an example of a country that has avoided becoming a failed state," Minister of International Development Erik Solheim said.

"It is therefore important to support Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the new Unity Government to help the country rebuild," he said. "If we fail to support those who are fighting for change now, Zimbabwe could become a new Somalia."

Western aid is only just beginning to trickle in. The World Bank on May 18 announced a $22 million grant, its first since 2001. Britain announced 15 million pounds in humanitarian aid last month.