Zambia

Zambia Humanitarian Situation Report: 10 Feb 2003

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UN Special Envoys in Zambia
UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, James Morris, visited Zambia on a second mission from 26 to 28 January 2003. The UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, accompanied him. The Southern Africa Development Community Secretary General, Dr Prega Ramaswamy travelled with the Envoys. Whilst in Zambia, the team met with the President, the Vice President, and several key Ministers. A consultation was also held with key donors in Zambia. A roundtable meeting with civil society - members of churches, international and national NGOs and researchers - was also held. These meetings provided an opportunity for wide ranging discussions touching upon the impact of the current drought on women, the relationship between HIV/AIDS and food security and lessons learnt from the past six months of interventions. A central theme in all discussions was the need for strategic and appropriately targeted interventions, and for careful planning, as harvest time draws near.

Also central to their visit was information gathering about the impact of HIV/AIDS on people's capacity to cope, and about how people were overcoming the challenges HIV/AIDS presented. The team visited Bwafano Community Based Orphan Care Programme, on the outskirts of Lusaka.

At his press conference on departure, Mr Morris said "For every step forward we make in this crisis, we lose ground to the scourge of HIV/AIDS... .Current and future programmes of every UN agency should be formed through the lens and reality of HIV/AIDS and its impact on women and children". Dr Lewis stressed that government and the international community needed to work together to address the needs of women, who are both the linchpin of the society and the group most at risk.

Suffering in silence: The links between human right abuses and HIV transmission to girls in Zambia

The title of a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on 28 January, which documents girls' testimonies of human rights abuses and sexual abuse that directly contribute to the disparities of HIV prevalence between adolescent girls and boys. The rate for girls is five times higher. The report focuses on the critical role of the criminal justice system in Zambia in addressing this issue. It recommends that donors and the UN should develop and encourage programs designed to address the link between sexual violence and coercion and HIV/AIDS in Zambia, to enhance protection of girls' rights, and to develop mechanisms to monitor these abuses. It also calls for support to training law enforcement and judicial personnel on the links between sexual violence and HIV/AIDS and on international legal standards. A copy of the report can be found at http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/zambia/zambia1202.pdf.

The 2003 budget

The 2003 budget - totalling Kwacha 7 trillion (USD1.5 billion) was announced in parliament on 31 January. In his speech to Parliament, Finance Minister, Mr Kasonde, confirmed macro economic targets for 2003: real GDP growth of 4%; end of year inflation 17.9%; gross international reserves equivalent to 1.9 months of imports; reduced budget deficit of 1.55%. Mr Kasonde noted that debt servicing would be a major commitment at around US$108.3 million. Bringing down domestic debt - currently at 2.8% of GDP - is a priority, but will prove a major challenge.

Around K67 billion (USD 14 million) has been announced for commercial imports of maize in the first quarter of 2003. Mr Kasonde also indicated that K15 billion (USD 3 million) was earmarked for ARVs in hospitals, a "separate amount" will be available to provide ARVs to key public sector workers. Mr Kasonde urged the private sector to follow this example by providing ARVs to their staff.

Following the speech, parliament was adjourned, after Mr Kasonde tabled a proposal to revisit some of the allocations tabled. This was in response to concerns raised in the house about a number of allocations, and the need for more transparency in the budget documents. A corrigendum is to be produced.

As to results in 2002, expansionary fiscal policy adopted to deal with the consequences of the drought resulted in significant budget overruns. Government, with assistance from its development partners imported maize at a cost of K76.4 billion (USD16 m), spent an additional K26 billion supporting the price of maize, and a further K15 billion (USD3 m) on disaster relief. All these were unplanned expenditure, which resulted in a widening of the fiscal deficit from a target of 3% to 3.3% of GDP by year-end. Consequently other macroeconomic targets had to be revised appropriately, inflation was revised to 16% from 13% but ended the year at 26.7%, GDP growth was revised to 3.7% from 4%, and the year ended at 3%. However foreign reserves improved to US$ 149 million from a target of US$ 129 million.

Zambia will receive funds for HIV/AIDS related programs

Zambia will receive US$92 million from the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (GFAMT) to fight HIV/AIDS, covering a period of five years, the first tranche will be US$19.8 million, this year. Funds will be released after the signing of an agreement between each principal recipient and the GFAMT.

Food stocks

FEWSNET has reported that millers - who claim to have sufficient stocks until harvest - are concerned about signals from GRZ that it will import significant amounts of maize. It also reports significant informal imports of maize - up to 60,000MT - not previously taken into consideration. (Report available on reliefweb: www.reliefweb.int and www.fewsnet)

Program Developments

Agriculture

Work is now advanced on the GRZ-FAO-NGO crop monitoring system, which is intended to provide early - and then monthly - indications of the likely outcome of this year's agricultural season. It is focused on areas which are regarded as at risk, particularly in the south. First results should be available in late February. The system is the result of an important lesson learnt in 2002: data needs to be gathered well before the crop is in, in order to ensure strategic and well positioned assistance in is place in response to any significant shortfalls.

Improved rainfall in much of the country in January augers well for the crop, but below normal rainfall in pockets of the south, including Southern province, parts of Lusaka province, and Sesheke, Senanga and Shangombo in the West. Crop are generally in good condition across the country, except in the South, where water stress is occurring in a number of districts.

Food relief

WFP estimates that it delivered a total of 21,000 tons of commodities in January, with 12,500 of this GRZ-sourced food (awaiting some outstanding field reports before confirmation). Currently, 70 IFRC trucks are in the field. A further 11 will be dispatched to Western Province early next week.

Education

With the reopening of schools this week after holidays, joint planning between the Ministry of Education (MOE), UNICEF and WFP has begun for a pilot school feeding project in 30 schools in three of the worst- affected districts of Southern Province (Gwembe, Sinazongwe and Siavonga), where attendance rates have dropped dramatically. Under the plan, WFP will provide enough food for a daily pre-class breakfast porridge, which will be prepared by community volunteers. UNICEF will ensure that water and sanitation facilities are in place, and provide school-in- the box kits, sports kits, and Life Skills manuals for 10,000 primary school pupils and teachers.

Nutrition

The second round of nutrition surveys (November-February) is ongoing. Surveys in Shangombo, Kazangula, Kalomo, Chibombo and Mumbwa districts are completed. Results show that levels of acute malnutrition among 6-59 months remained stable since the first round in June-August 2002. However, the prevalence of chronic malnutrition is still high in those districts (36 to 49%), an endemic problem in Zambia.

Prevalence of acute malnutrition in surveyed districts

District
% Global Acute Malnutrition
% Severe Acute Malnutrition
% GAM
First round
% SAM
Second round
Shangombo
4.2
0.8
3.9
1.2
Kazangula
2.7
0.7
-
-
Kalomo
2.4
0.7
3.4
0.7
Chibombo
4.0
1.7
-
-
Mumbwa
4.3
0.8
-
-

Water and Sanitation

A multi-Stakeholder Consultative Forum for the Rural Water Supply & Sanitation (RWSS) is established to improve sector coordination and is now finalising its terms of reference. An inventory of water points in Southern Province is also under preparation by UNICEF. OXFAM is supporting DHMT/D-WASHE for implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion programmes in 4 districts (54 villages) - Siavonga, Mazabuka, Monze and Choma - focusing on water supply and storage, construction of latrines for vulnerable households and disabled persons, action plans at the village level, training of staff as well as health and hygiene campaigns including prevention of HIV/AIDS and distribution of water containers. WATERAID is providing assistance in four districts in Southern province - Itezhitezhi, Kazungula, Kalomo and Namwala. One hundred and twenty-eight water points have been worked on representing eighty-five percent of the total scheduled sites. In January, UNICEF contractors drilled 50 new boreholes in schools and villages in Southern Province, providing access to clean water to an additional 12,500 people. This completes the target 151 boreholes set in 2002. Training of some 100 Area Pump Minders, responsible for maintenance or repair of hand pumps, in Southern and Eastern Provinces was also completed this month. In 2003, UNICEF will continue to support water, sanitation and hygiene education in 18 drought-affected districts in Southern, Eastern and Western Provinces, and has requested funds under the revised CAP for 500 new boreholes.

Events calendar - February 2003

Date
Time
Event
Place
Contact
Thursday
13 February
15 h
Humanitarian Briefing for Donors (incorporating the Food Security Donors Reference Group) - presentation of the Mid Term Review of the CAP Canadian High Commission, Lusaka Robert.tabana@undp.org
Patricia.duggan@undp.org
Tuesday
18 February
14 h 30
WFP Implementing
Partners meeting
WFP, Lusaka Sibi.Lawson@wfp.org
Wednesday
19 February
9 h
Emergency Nutrition Task Force UNICEF, Lusaka dbrunet@unicef.org
Tuesday
25 February
15 h
UNHCR Inter-Agency Meeting UNHCR, Lusaka UNHCR
Tuesday
25 February
9 h
WES meeting Ministry of Local Gov & Housing, Lusaka Melanie_smith@oxfam.org.uk
Thursday
6 March
8 h
Emergency Epidemiology Meeting CBoH, Lusaka felistusn@cboh.org.zm