The European Union announced on Monday that it will aid the people of Zimbabwe with an additional 53 million euros for health and resilience building.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, said in a statement that the extra aid raises the EU development portfolio in Zimbabwe to 287 million euros for the period 2014-2020.
The announcement comes only a few days after Zimbabwe held an anti-sanctions public holiday on Friday, demanding sanctions by the EU and the U.S. be lifted.
Western sanctions were imposed on the Southern African nation over human rights violations during the rule of Robert Mugabe, who died in September.
Many Zimbabweans believe that the sanctions, which target specific individuals and companies, are adding to the economic strife in the country.
Critics of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party say the sanctions cannot be blamed for the country’s economic woes and are a scapegoat for the state’s ineptitude.
The European Union says Zimbabwe is facing a humanitarian and economic crisis, with almost three quarters of the population living below the poverty line.
The country has also been affected by drought and the cyclone Idai earlier this year.
Zimbabwe has seen numerous anti-government protests this year, mostly brought about by the failing economy which has rendered about five million citizens dependent on aid.
On Friday, the U.S. imposed further sanctions, this time on Zimbabwe’s security minister for gross violations of human rights.
The sanctions followed several reports of torture and abductions by authorities trying to crack down on insurgency.