WFP Zambia Country Brief, February 2021

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

6.469 mt food assistance distributed

US$ 1.7 million cash-based transfers made

US$ 279,845 six-month (April – September 2021) net funding requirements

320,463 people assisted in FEBRUARY 2021

Operational Updates

In February, WFP assisted 320,463 people, including 15,820 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with food and cash assistance, 213,245 vulnerable urban people under the COVID-19 cash assistance programme, 18,628 people through nutrition improvement interventions and 59,643 people through smallholder support activities. The remaining 11,204 people were reached through social protection and capacity-strengthening interventions.
WFP continued to implement its COVID-19 response, reaching 42,649 households (213,245 people) across the targeted six districts (Chilanga, Kafue, Kalulushi, Kitwe, Livingstone and Lusaka). Each household received ZMW 800 (USD 37.5) to cover its needs for two months for a total of ZMW 34.12 million (about USD 1.6 million) disbursed.

Following successful piloting of payments targeting 300 households using an alternative local financial service provider, in March, WFP will scale up payments to around 20,000 households using the new payment platform.

Additionally, following assessments of the redemption rates which revealed that some households had not regularly redeemed their cash, WFP commenced the re-validation of beneficiary details. The exercise is expected to lead to improved cash redemption rates, currently standing at about 75 percent.

WFP supported the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) in developing a plan to set up 15 school gardens in five districts (Chirundu, Chama, Luangwa, Nyimba and Katete) to integrate nutrition into its programming. Once the gardens are operational, schools will be producing fresh vegetables and benefit approximately 8,000 schoolchildren through improved access to diversified school meals. In addition, the gardens will be used as sites for practical lessons on nutrition education and for transferring skills on agricultural production to schoolchildren. Meanwhile, by the end of February, over 2,000 schoolchildren had already benefitted from the assorted fresh vegetables harvested at their schools, after three hydroponics gardens were installed in three primary schools in Gwembe District in January 2021.

During the month under review, WFP provided 39 computers, multi-functional printers, and tablets to the MoGE to support the phased roll-out of the web-based Food Tracking System (FTS). The equipment will help strengthen the ministry’s data management capacity as it implements the FTS in schools under the Home-Grown School Meals (HGSM) programme. The FTS was developed in 2020 on behalf of the MoGE to track the movement of commodities from procurement to consumption, ensuring improved commodity accountability in the HGSM programme. The MoGE will gradually extend the system to 12 districts to reach 120 schools during the year, after it was successfully piloted in 10 schools in Mumbwa District the previous year.

As part of continued technical assistance to the Government on climate risk financing, WFP supported the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to collect key agronomic data to inform the re-development of the weather index insurance product under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Data was collected from 702 agricultural camps in the targeted 116 districts. Once re-designed, the weather index insurance will benefit approximately one million smallholder farmers enrolled under the FISP programme, protecting them from climatic shocks and enabling them to better recover.

WFP and the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute conducted a two-day virtual training on Good Agricultural Practices, targeting staff from MoA and cooperating partners (CP) operating in Gwembe and Pemba districts, with the aim to enhance extension services for smallholder farmers. The trained staff (10 MoA camp extension officers and 12 CPs) are expected to support 1,000 smallholder farmers who are producing sorghum under the Sorghum Out-grower Scheme, being implemented by WFP and Zambian Breweries in the two districts.