In 2022, an estimated 4.3 million people, including 2.2 million children, are projected to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe due to multiple hazards, including floods and storms, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis.
A total of 4.3 million people, including 2.2 million children, will be in need of life-saving health, HIV and nutrition services. More than 21,000 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) will be in need of treatment.
A total of 2.5 million people will require safe water and sanitation. Close to 1.9 million children will need education assistance.
UNICEF will intensify its support to Government-led national and district coordination structures to enable the provision of multi-sectoral life-saving services and efforts to respond and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNICEF requires US$54.7 million to meet humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe in 2022, including 15 per cent of the total appeal allocated to gender equality.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
The second round of the Crop and Livestock Assessment 2020/ 2021 Season conducted in April 2021 predicted significantly improved cereal security in Zimbabwe as a result of an anticipated increase in maize yield in 2021. However, pockets of food insecurity are anticipated during 2022, particularly during the lean season (October-March), when poor households in some deficit producing southern and extreme-northern areas will be market reliant with lower purchasing power due to volatile macroeconomic conditions, and up to 2.5 million people will face nutritional crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. According to the ZIMSTATS 2020 Rapid Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey (PICES) phone survey conducted from December 2020 to 10 March 2021,15 a significant share of households continued to report reduced income from various sources in the aftermath of the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Access to health continues to favor urban areas compared to rural areas, and lack of money is cited as the primary reason for not being able to access medical treatment, as reported by 78 percent of households in the PICES survey. While the year-on-year inflation rate has continued to decline from 571 per cent in October 2020 to 50.2 per cent in August 2021, the prices of basic goods and services on the domestic market have continued to rise, driven by the month-on-month inflation rate which has remained unstable. This has particularly affected the urban population, mainly due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
The 2021-2022 rainfall seasonal forecast predicts above-normal rainfall, particularly during the first quarter of 2022, underscoring the risk of flooding and the accompanying waterborne disease outbreaks. More than 4 million Zimbabweans, predominantly vulnerable children and women, including people living with HIV and disabilities, will need access to primary health care and nutrition services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF is requesting US$54.7 million to respond to the multi-hazards in 2022. This funding will enable UNICEF to provide critical services to respond to the impacts of potential flooding, epidemics, including COVID-19, and the economic crisis. An estimated 1,250,000 people directly affected by floods and other natural disasters will be reached with WASH services to mitigate the risk of diarrhoeal diseases. In addition, UNICEF will respond to increased child protection risks and heightened vulnerabilities of gender-based violence (GBV) with over 200,000 people projected to be affected, and provide targeted intervention for girls’ learning and education.