WFP Zambia: Drought Response Monitoring Report (March 2020)


1. Introduction

In March 2020, WFP continued to provide food assistance to drought affected people in targeted districts. The support included delivery of government-supplied maize meal and WFP-procured pulses. In March alone, WFP dispatched 126 mt of maize meal and 702 mt of pulses to seven of the sixteen WFP target districts. Between December 2019 and March 2020, WFP dispatched 3,260 mt of maize meal, representing 76 percent of the total tonnage (4,300 mt) of maize allocated by the government and 100 percent of the total maize received from Government for WFP to deliver. In addition, WFP dispatched 3,731 mt of pulses, representing 65 percent of the 5,707 mt of pulses mobilized and 90 percent of the 4,164 mt of pulses received in-country/ procured locally.

In the reporting month, WFP’s cooperating partners managed to distribute 683 mt of maize meal and 1,447 mt of pulses. Between December 2019 and March, a total of 2,757 mt of maize meal and 2,293 mt of pulses had been distributed reaching 220,160 people with maize meal, representing 35 percent of the target population and 315,473 people with pulses representing 59 percent of the target population across the 16 districts. This can be attributed to the fact that in March, more people were reached with pulses due to inadequate allocation of maize meal by the government. Compared to previous months and after WFP started directly engaging cooperating partners in charge of food distributions, the tonnage distributed in March increased as the cooperating partners provided double rations to reduce the frequency of distributions and meetings. This minimized the possible risk of transmission of COVID-19 through contact with beneficiaries at the distribution points. The cooperating partners also enhanced their staffing capacities through the financial support provided by WFP. Preventative measures to reduce the spread of the virus were put in place by WFP and its cooperating partners. This included spacing out distributions to avoid congestion; physical distancing of beneficiaries; installation of hand washing facilities at distribution sites and waiting areas; awareness-building on COVID-19 using guidelines from the Ministry of Health; and provision of personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and hand sanitizers to teams responsible for the distributions.
To assess the effectiveness of the assistance, WFP and its monitoring partners conducted distribution and post monitoring in all the 16 targeted districts.

UNICEF did not implement any Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) in March as it is shifting from using agents to mobile money transfers to minimize crowding and contacts with beneficiaries in compliance with the government COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, WFP did not conduct post distribution monitoring for the ECT in March.