UNICEF Zimbabwe Humanitarian Situation Report #8 (July to 31 September 2019)



  • According to the July 2019 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment report, nearly 5.5 million people (including 2.6 million children) in rural Zimbabwe are projected to urgently require humanitarian assistance during the peak hunger period from January to March 2020. This is an increase from the 4.5 million people in need reported in January 2019.

  • The Urban ZimVAC 2019 report showed that at least 2.2 million people require urgent humanitarian interventions during the peak hunger season.

  • At least 2,230 cases of severe acute malnutrition have been treated in the priority districts and over 160,000 children (6-59 months) have been screened for malnutrition.

  • Over one million people gained access to safe drinking water in 2019 through distribution of water treatment materials and rehabilitation of boreholes, springs and piped water schemes.

  • As of 30 September 2019, at least 72,000 children and adolescents had been given access to formal and non-formal education in priority districts.

Situation in Numbers

  • 2,600,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance (ZimVAC, July 2019)

  • 5,500,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance (ZimVAC, July,2019)

  • 270,000 affected by the residual impact of flooding (UNOCHA, June 2019)

UNICEF Appeal 2019 US$ 23.7 million

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF is requesting US$ 23.7 million to meet the increasing humanitarian needs in the country. Of this amount, UNICEF requires US$ 16.5 million for the drought response, US$ 3.7 million for Cyclone Idai response (recovery interventions) and US$ 3.5 million for disease outbreaks. To date, funding has been received from DFID, ECHO, UNICEF Global Thematic, Sweden, Japan, the German Committee for UNICEF, UNICEF Australia and CERF. The Country Office also received a loan of US$ 1 million from the Emergency Programme Fund (EPF) from HQ to support immediate responses and re-programmed up to US$ 2 million of existing development grants to support the humanitarian interventions. In engaging with the private sector, UNICEF is seeking to facilitate the establishment of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with various communities, schools, health facilities and local authorities to promote sustainable and long-lasting solutions.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Due to the impact of drought, nearly 5.5 million people in rural Zimbabwe are estimated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection during the 2019/2020 peak hunger period, which runs from January to March 2020 (ZimVAC, July 2019),1 a 20 per cent increase from the 4.5 million people reported in January 21092 . This includes nearly 2.6 million children. According to the urban ZimVAC results of September 2019, 2.2 million people in urban areas are cereal insecure and are in urgent need of assistance. About 1.47 million households (7.33 million people) (76.8 per cent) are living below the Food Poverty Line. While they may meet their cereal requirements, they are unable to meet their other basic needs. In addition, approximately 6.8 million (93 per cent) of households are below the Total Consumption Poverty Line.

The food insecurity situation is being further compounded by the ongoing macro-economic crisis. The decline in Zimbabwe’s urban WASH provision has been particularly significant in high-density and unplanned urban areas, which now face persistent water shortages and rationing. Local authorities are struggling to sustain treatment and pumping of safe water due to limited tariff collection and no foreign currency to import water treatment chemicals. Recent increases in diarrhoeal diseases have been noted in Harare and the major concerns are the 2018 cholera hotspot suburbs. A common diarrhoea outbreak was detected on 7 September 2019 in Dzivarasekwa Suburb, Harare City; however, no cholera cases have been detected. As of 30 September 2019, a total of 487 cases had been reported, of which 146 (30 per cent) were children under five years (76 girls and 70 boys).