Geneva, 18 February, 2016
In Zimbabwe, food security has extremely been compromised by erratic rains in the 2015/16 season. A greater part of the country has been affected by long dry spells that occurred between January and March 2015. As a result, significant decreases in crop production have been experienced in southern parts of Zimbabwe with a very huge aggregate maize shortfall of thousands of metric tonnes. Food access is thus generally quite constrained mainly due to typically high prices and extremely limited income generating opportunities.
According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) 2015, there is a nationwide cereal deficit of over 650,000 MT while an additional 350,000 MT will be required to feed livestock. This has put 1.5 million people at risk of starvation. The figure is currently being revised upwards following the current ZIMVAC lean season assessment, which has tentatively projected the “at-risk” population to 3 million. The highest levels of food insecurity are in the Midlands, Masvingo, and Matabeleland South and North provinces. According to the ZimVAC Lean Season Report, 2016, the proportion of households facing food insecurity is as follows: Umzingwane (51%), Insiza (35%), Lupane (35%), Binga (50%), Mberengwa (40%), Chivi (50%) and Mwenezi (50%). Remittances have fallen to 40% off the normal level while the rise in cereal prices in the southern districts is ranging between 38-46% of the previous year’s level and 35% above the national average (UN Situation Report).
The ACT Zimbabwe forum through DanChurchAid (DCA) and other local implementing partners, will contribute to the immediate assistance of 161,642 beneficiaries through a cash transfer programme to enable households accessto food, emergency preparedness and planning through Community based DRR to better prepare for drought and promote resilience and food security by providing drought tolerant seeds to the affected provinces in Zimbabwe.