Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin - Zimbabwe, 01 – 31 March 2012

HIGHLIGHTS

  • More Zimbabweans are at risk of hunger as the midseason dry spell destroyed about 30 per cent of area planted in the 2011/12 agricultural season.

  • Malaria cases shoot above 109,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

  • Lightning kills four children, leaves some severely burnt and destroys class rooms in three provinces.

1.5 million Zimbabweans unable to meet their food needs

Lean season extends into April as humanitarians face $12.6 million food funding gap About 1.5 million Zimbabweans are unable to meet their food requirements in the current lean season that normally ends in March but has been extended to April 2012. Food assistance partners fear the situation is deteriorating faster than anticipated due to a long mid-season dry spell, from January through February, that affected six of the country’s 10 provinces.
Constrained livelihood opportunities in these areas exacerbate the situation.

The First Round Crop and Livestock Assessment projects a bleak image of the food security for the rest of 2012. The report reflects a decrease in area planted from 2,096,034 Ha in 2010/11 to an estimated 1,689,609 Ha in 2011/12. Out of the area planted for this season, crops on about 498,144 Ha, representing 30 per cent of area planted, were destroyed, leaving effective hectarage at about 1,191,465 Ha, which is insufficient for the nation’s needs. Consequently, the number of people needing food aid may increase from the current 1.5 million, although this is yet to be confirmed through the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) survey currently under way.

In the midst of this critical situation, WFP is facing a $24 million funding shortfall for the period March to August. Of this amount $12 million, equivalent to 12,163 mt of food commodities is required to feed about 200, 000 households who benefit from the Safety Net (SN) programme, while $3.5 million is needed for the cash-and-voucher activities. SN beneficiaries include malnourished people living with HIV, pregnant and lactating women, orphans and vulnerable children, and children under five.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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