On 28 July 2020, WFP started implementing its COVID-19 cash assistance for urban food insecure people, targeting 180,000 people residing in 50 disadvantaged urban and peri-urban areas of Lusaka and Kafue districts. As of 31 July, 87,705 vulnerable and food insecure people including refugees in 17,541 households had been reached. Each targeted household received ZMW 800 (USD 44) to cover half the value of a basic food basket for two months (August and September).
To limit human-to-human contact in the wake of the raising number of COVID-19 cases, WFP distributed cash via mobile money services provided by a local mobile network provider and its cash agents. To promote the choice and consumption of nutritious foods among the targeted population, WFP, working with the Government and other cooperating partners, developed and disseminated nutrition messages and raised awareness around the usage of the provided cash through selected radio channels and short text messages.
During the reported month, WFP commenced a second rapid food security assessment in the urban districts of Livingstone and Kitwe districts, targeting 1,500 households, as part of preparations for the upcoming scale-up of the response. This followed the first assessment conducted in Lusaka and Kafue districts in June, which found over 190,000 food insecure people in the two districts.
In July, WFP expanded its cash assistance to refugees, targeting and reaching over 5,000 refugees, up from 1,500 people in the previous two months. WFP distributed over USD 38,000 (ZMW 692,045), with each refugee receiving ZMW 134 (about USD 7.4). This is the equivalent of the value of the food basket distributed to the remaining 9,000 refugees who received food in-kind during the same month. The scale-up is part of WFP plans to transition all the refugees from food to cash assistance by early 2021.
WFP, in collaboration with Mayfair Insurance, compensated over 5,300 smallholder farmers enrolled in the Weather Index Insurance programme, who had suffered losses following the early season dry spells experienced in the 2019/2020 farming season. Each smallholder farmer received an average pay-out of ZMW 162 (about USD 8.93) off a subsidised premium of ZMW 50 (about USD 2.75), with the total pay-out of about USD 57,000. The payments were done using mobile money services provided by MTN, a mobile network operator.