Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Zimbabwe

Originally published
View original


2020 requirements: US$11,026,650

Total affected population: 5.5 million Total affected children (under 18): 2.6 million

Total population to be reached: 1.6 million Total children to be reached: 768,000

The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe continued to deteriorate in 2019. Multiple natural hazards, including food insecurity, flooding and the risk of outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases, continue to impact the population. The country is also facing an economic downturn characterized by hyperinflation (175 per cent) and limited access to basic services. According to a 2019 report by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, nearly 5.5 million people in rural areas, including 2.6 million children, and 960,000 people in urban areas will be in need of humanitarian assistance through April 2020. Nationally, the severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rate has increased from 0.2 per cent in 2018 to 1.4 per cent in 2019. Affected people are still feeling the residual impacts of Cyclone Idai and require early recovery support. The water and sanitation situation due to drought, coupled with the electricity crisis, is increasing the risk of cholera. There is a critical need to urgently scale up and sustain the ongoing efforts to prevent a large-scale cholera outbreak. As of 6 September 2019, nearly 5,700 suspected typhoid cases have been reported, with 165 confirmed cases and 12 deaths. Gender-based violence remains a serious issue, especially for displaced populations and communities affected by drought.

Humanitarian strategy

UNICEF and partners are supporting the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care to coordinate and provide comprehensive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, health and HIV services, with a strong communication for development strategy, to respond the drought, the cyclone and the risk of diarrhoeal disease outbreaks. UNICEF is supporting government-led national and district coordination efforts to provide affected communities with multi-sectoral life-saving services, particularly disease prevention interventions. The existing social protection programme will be expanded to those areas most affected by the drought and the cyclone. UNICEF is maintaining its field presence in affected areas and ensuring service continuity for crisis-affected people through outreach services. Psychosocial support services are being scaled up for children experiencing violations and survivors of gender-based violence. UNICEF is also supporting the Ministry of Education to improve access to quality learning. Communication for development, which is mainstreamed in all programmes, will support awareness-raising and demand for services. UNICEF is continuing to support sector coordination and leadership in the WASH, nutrition, education and child protection sectors; and will work with partners to strengthen coordination structures for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse to ensure that crisis-affected populations have access to appropriate interventions.

Results from 2019
As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$10.3 million available against the US$23.7 million appeal (43 per cent funded).7 Preparedness efforts, including the pre-positioning of life-saving supplies prior to the cyclone, enabled UNICEF to respond immediately. UNICEF facilitated community- and facility-based multi-sectoral risk assessments focusing on the risk of drought, flooding and epidemic-prone diseases (cholera and typhoid). More than 1.2 million children and caregivers were reached through an integrated life-saving communication for development response. UNICEF provided technical support to the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Manicaland Province for the cyclone response; in all affected districts in the country for the drought response; and in all hotspots in the country for cholera prevention, case management and surveillance strengthening. To date, nearly 7,900 children aged 6 to 59 months have received SAM treatment with UNICEF support. In addition, more than 889,700 people gained access to safe drinking water. At least 30 aid workers were trained on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in cyclone-affected districts. More than 51,000 children received psychosocial support and other critical child protection services in the areas that are most affected by the drought and the cyclone.