Zimbabwe + 5 more

Southern Africa: Food Insecurity Appeal no. 05EA023: Fact Sheet No. 2

This Fact Sheet is intended to present summary operational information and to inform that an Appeal Extension is in process; a standard Operations Update will be issued shortly reflecting the full status of the operation, and the rationale for the appeal extension.

Emergency Appeal 05EA023 was launched in October 2005 in response to the food insecurity situation affecting an estimated 12 million people in southern Africa. Projects in the livelihoods, water and sanitation (WatSan) and capacity building sectors are largely being implemented in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as outlined in the Appeal. However, slow donor response resulted in delays in project commencement date and a correspondingly later end date is now required to ensure their successful completion or integration into the regional five-year Food Security Strategy or five-year HIV and AIDS Strategy. The poor donor response also resulted in the cancellation of most of the planned food component when the pre-harvest needs were high, with the limited funds used to implement priority projects. Fortunately, crops from the harvest have now considerably improved household food security across the region. Reliable data regarding Zimbabwe's harvest and household food security is currently not available. The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and the Federation are closely monitoring the humanitarian situation.

Operational update

The appeal was launched in October 2005 a period of nine months. Following a Food Security Coordination meeting held in Johannesburg for all seven national societies/food security delegates from 17 to 19 July 2006, it was confirmed that the Appeal will be extended for two months, until 30 September 2006. This will ensure that all projects are concluded or integrated into the longer-term strategies. Budgets are being adjusted, with no extra funds being sought for operations, other than for Zimbabwe.

All the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society's home-based care (HBC) beneficiaries were provided with monthly food rations from the World Food Programme (WFP) until June 2006. As of July, WFP is only able to provide food rations for 50% of the Zimbabwe's HBC beneficiaries. According to the NS, household needs have not improved sufficiently since the harvest, with all beneficiaries being extremely vulnerable, particularly the population infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. The NS/Federation is therefore liaising with the WFP to ensure that all food needs are provided through either WFP or the NS/Federation, with the Federation making contingency plans to support the other 50% of beneficiaries during the extended Appeal period.

An Appeal extension and budget revision will be published in due course, with the Appeal being extended by just over two months (to 30 September 2006). No further funds are required for the implementation of the ongoing projects, but an additional CHF 1 - 2 million may be sought to cover 2 to 3 months of food rations for 46,000 beneficiaries on Zimbabwe's HBC project.

Project implementation summary

The following projects have been implemented between October 2005 and July 2006:

- Lesotho: Agricultural starter packs, micro-irrigation and capacity building;

- Malawi: Supplementary feeding programme, food-for-work, agricultural starter packs, WatSan and capacity building;

- Mozambique: Agricultural starter packs, WatSan and capacity building;

- Namibia: Agricultural starter packs and capacity building;

- Swaziland: Agricultural starter packs and capacity building;

- Zambia: Vegetable seeds, cash vouchers, livestock, WatSan and capacity building;

- Zimbabwe: Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) supplementary feeding, agricultural starter packs, small-scale irrigation, WatSan and capacity building.

As noted above, only priority food projects in the region received funding, with the Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe operations implementing their supplementary feeding projects for HBC and OVCs beneficiaries, food-for-work and cash vouchers to a total of 167,000 beneficiaries. All seven NSs also implemented feeding programmes to an additional 310,000 beneficiaries, through direct partnership agreements with partner national societies (PNS), WFP, the governments and the British government's Department for International Department (DFID).

All NSs distributed agricultural starter packs, consisting of maize/wheat, a mixture of vegetable seeds and fertilizers to some 40,000 households (Zambia only distributed the vegetable seeds, but will distribute maize/fertilizers in August/September). The provision of livestock (chickens and goats) for 1,500 Zambian households commenced, as did Zimbabwe's small-scale irrigation project, where 360 OVCs will benefit from three Red Cross centres that have access to water/irrigation systems for vegetables/herb gardens and pig/chicken rearing.

Although funds came in late for the WatSan projects, progress has been good with donations that were channeled to the Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe Red Cross Societies. Capacity building has been a major focus, with 10 delegates being deployed and each NS recruiting food security officers/volunteers. An extensive number of workshops have been conducted to enhance assessment, planning, implementation and follow-up skills of NS staff and volunteers involved in food security operations.

Four regional coordination meetings were also held in Johannesburg for all the key NS/Federation staff and delegates to enhance coordination: an operational review was conducted in May. The final report of the review will be shared with all stakeholders in the beginning of August.

To be implemented in the extended Appeal period

The following projects will continue to be implemented in the extended appeal period (August and September 2006):

- Lesotho: Micro-irrigation and capacity building;

- Malawi: Food-for-work, WatSan and capacity building;

- Mozambique: WatSan and capacity building;

- Zimbabwe: Home-based care (HBC) supplementary feeding and OVC supplementary feeding projects, smallscale irrigation, WatSan and capacity building;

- Zambia: Cash voucher, livestock, agricultural starter packs, WatSan and capacity building.

During the extended Appeal period, operations will focus on the provision of food in Malawi, through the food-forwork operation, and in Zimbabwe, through the HBC/OVC supplementary feeding programme. Zambia will focus on its cash voucher project in Livingstone. Livelihood projects will be completed within the period or integrated into the regional five-year Food Security or HIV and AIDS strategies. They will include: nutritional and backyard gardens, micro and small-scale irrigation, livestock and agricultural starter packs. WatSan projects will be concluded during the extended period in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Capacity building will continue to be a major focus, with delegates remaining in each operational country, apart from Namibia. Workshops are planned in logistics, food security, WatSan, finance, assessments, monitoring and reporting. For more details, news, stories as well as photos and updates related to this operation visit: http://www.ifrc.org/news/southernafrica/index.asp