WFP Zimbabwe Brief | Reporting period: 01 April – 30 June 2015


Summary of WFP assistance:

WFP is helping communities recover from cumulative shocks of previous crises (several years of poor rainy seasons and meagre harvests). Although agricultural production levels for 2014 were relatively fruitful, El Niño weather patterns have negatively affected Zimbabwe in 2015. Food insecurity is high, especially in a stressed year like this one, following erratic rains and drought. Based on results from the 2015 Second Round Crop and Livestock Assessment, there is a 650,000 mt cereal deficit to meet Zimbabwe’s food needs following the 2014/15 harvest season. Maize production has declined by almost 50 percent compared to last year. The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) 2015 Rural livelihoods Assessment— which is led by the Government with support from WFP and various partners— indicates that 1.5 million people (16 percent of the rural population) will have insufficient means to meet their minimum food needs during the peak of the lean season (January to March 2016).

This is 163 percent more food insecure people than last year. The country continues to face economic stress with implications on food security, especially for vulnerable groups in rural areas. Due to deflation, household incomes remained low and liquidity challenges affect aggregate demand for goods and services— especially for poor households.

WFP is currently implementing a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation to promote transition from emergency assistance to recovery and resilience, while maintaining a strong capacity for disaster response when required. The three main activities are:

  • Food assistance/cash for assets (FFA/CFA): In line with WFP’s new strategic direction to shift towards developing communities’ long term resilience to shocks, this project provides food or cash in exchange for labour to build/rehabilitate assets. Projects include creating infrastructure that help communities generate revenue and/or adapt to climate change, such as small irrigation systems, nutrition gardens, dip tanks, weir dams and soil conservation schemes. FFA empowers vulnerable communities to move away from dependency on food assistance, promote self-reliance, reduce disaster risk and support climate change adaption.

  • Disaster response and risk reduction: WFP is providing conditional lean season assistance through cash and food distributions to chronically food insecure and other vulnerable households at the height of the lean season (between October/November and March). Additionally, WFP helps develop the government’s capacity to mitigate disasters and manage/respond appropriately to risks. For example, WFP is working with the government to implement a Seasonal Livelihoods Programme, which is a consultative process that brings together communities, government, and partners to design integrated multi-year, multi-sectoral operational plans using seasonal and gender lenses.

  • Health and nutrition promotion: WFP assists moderately acute malnourished (MAM) HIV/AIDS and TB clients, as well as moderately acute malnourished pregnant and nursing women and children under five years of age at clinics. A stunting prevention pilot programme is being implemented in Mutasa district to address high rates of undernutrition.