WFP Zambia Country Brief, November 2020

Situation Report
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In Numbers

US$ 822,218 cash-based transfers made

US$ 0 six-month (December 2020 – May 2021) net funding requirements

168,105 people assisted in November 2020

Operational Updates

In November, WFP assisted 168,105 people, of which 14,667 were refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 104,730 people impacted by COVID-19. Additionally,
WFP reached 20,500 people through its nutrition initiatives and supported 28,208 smallholder farmers through its resilience strengthening activities.

As part of its continued support to urban populations impacted by COVID-19 in Zambia, WFP provided cash assistance to 20,946 vulnerable households (104,730 people) in the six targeted urban districts of Lusaka, Kafue,
Kitwe, Kalulushi, Livingstone and Chilanga, distributing a total of ZMW 16.8 million (approximately USD 822,000).
Each household received ZMW 800 (about USD 38) to cover their food and nutrition needs for two months. WFP has been providing cash assistance since July, targeting 322,000 people, with 223,735 people already assisted so far.

In November, WFP partnered with a local company,
Zambian Breweries Plc, to support 1,000 smallholder farmers in Gwembe and Pemba districts to enhance their productivity and incomes by providing a market for their sorghum production. Through this partnership, smallholder farmers will be supported to access high-yielding sorghum seeds, basal and top dressing fertilizer, receive training on crop management and agricultural extension services, while their crops will be insured against climate shocks.
Smallholders will also receive training in conservation agriculture, post-harvest loss management, commodity aggregation and financial literacy.

In November, WFP facilitated a series of meetings for the end of the 2020/2021 agricultural marketing season, in Chipata, Siavonga and Livingstone districts, and involved 108 participants from the Ministry of Agriculture, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations drawn from 41 districts. The meetings aimed at sharing information on market trends and dynamics and at showcasing the achievements of the WFP-supported commodity aggregation model – a 3-tier private-sector-led marketing approach that enhances the efficiency of the commodities’ supply chains and allows farmers to access larger, more diverse and sustainable markets. Despite the ongoing pandemic, significant commodity volumes were traded this marketing season compared to the previous one, providing a sustainable market for smallholder farmers and contributing to their resilience against the pandemic. By the end of the marketing season, over 21,800 smallholder farmers (78 percent women) had bulked and sold some 23,600 mt of various food commodities, valued at USD 3.3 million, to the larger buyers and processors.

In November, WFP supported the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) with the rollout of the web-based Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Food Tracking System (FTS), which tracks the movement of commodities from procurement to consumption and ensures improved commodity accountability in the HGSF programme. WFP also facilitated the training of over 50 national and district level MoGE staff to build their capacity to effectively manage the system.

WFP also continued to support MoGE in setting up six additional hydroponics gardens in various districts (Nyimba, Petauke, Katete, and Lundazi) in Eastern Province, bringing the total number of functional hydroponics gardens to 19 out of the planned 23. Apart from being used for nutrition education in schools, the hydroponics gardens will also be used by schools to diversify the food basket provided to the children as part of their school meals.

In November, WFP, working with the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) through the District Nutrition Coordination Committees in Petauke, Mumbwa, Monze and Mazabuka districts, trained 150 religious leaders in nutrition messaging. This is part of the Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) activities that WFP and NFNC are implementing to improve nutrition outcomes. Once fully orientated, the religious leaders will play a key role in disseminating nutrition messages to their followers to contribute to improved nutrition in their communities.

From 16 to 27 November 2020, WFP conducted a market assessment in Nchelenge, Chiengi, Kawambwa and Mansa districts to establish the functionality of the markets ahead of the full transition of all the Congolese refugees at the WFP-supported Mantapala Refugee Settlement to cash assistance by early 2021.
The assessment focused on price trends of food commodities (to inform the basket value of the cash assistance), and on ascertaining food availability and the capacity of the markets to meet increased demand for food. Preliminary findings indicate that markets are functional and ready to support an increased demand for food items, although a surging inflation and the continued depreciation of the local currency pose serious challenges to the stability of commodity prices.