WFP Zimbabwe welcomed its new Country Director, Francesca Erdelmann!
In August, WFP scaled up its Urban Social Assistance Programme with the target to reach 292,865 people across 19 domains.
LSA and Urban disbursements continued to face delays due to pipeline breaks, store closures, and the temporary suspension of activities in July due to the planned political demonstrations. Double disbursements for July and August are ongoing in several districts.
WFP participated in the Food and Nutrition Council’s rural ZimVAC report; results are expected to be released in late September.
Spotlight: WFP helps curb the spread of COVID-19 at Tongogara Refugee Camp (TRC)
When Zimbabwe recorded its first case of COVID19 on 20 March 2020, WFP field operations changed dramatically to ensure the continued health and safety of staff, partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries. However, special attention was given to processes at Tongogara Refugee Camp (TRC), where more than 13,400 highly vulnerable refugees reside. Located in Chipinge, TRC is home to displaced persons from all over Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
WFP has been providing monthly food assistance in TRC since 2015, when the camp’s population surpassed the threshold of 5,000 people, as per an existing global partnership agreement between WFP and UNHCR.
In-kind commodities, including cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, and salt are distributed to all residents at the camp, while nutritious Super Cereal rations are provided to the chronically ill, and Super Cereal Plus to children under five years of age. This is to ensure that infants and young children are protected from malnutrition, given the traditionally poor and erratic dietary patterns within the camp.
WFP’s food basket meets 100% of an individual’s basic food needs, as refugees at TRC rarely have opportunities to earn their own income. Due to their refugee status, residents cannot seek formal employment outside the camp; therefore, they rely on odd jobs, internally, which often pay very little. WFP food assistance, therefore, acts as a lifeline for those who would otherwise not be able to regularly source their own food.
In the context of COVID-19, WFP, in partnership with UNHCR, Terre des Hommes, and the Government of Zimbabwe, have implemented and continue to enforce prevention measures that seek to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus within the camp. Partners have distributed face masks to all residents over the age of five, as well as double soap rations to improve personal and household hygiene. Group food distributions have been discontinued to avoid large gatherings; instead, food is delivered to households one at a time. Furthermore, SCOPE PIN codes and biometric redemption processes have been suspended to reduce the need for shared equipment and sanitization of frequently used surfaces. Post-distribution monitoring continues to be conducted virtually to ensure accountability to affected populations while reducing the need for face-to-face interviews. Finally, WFP and partners continue to promote COVID-19 sensitive messaging through communications campaigns and the distribution of IEC materials.
At camp level, UNHCR successfully established a quarantine and isolation centre for returning residents and new arrivals, while national lockdown regulations - including social distancing and reduced hours of operation for businesses - continue to be enforced. These measures have successfully prevented the spread of COVID-19 at TRC, with only a select few cases having been reported.
WFP operations in the camp are currently funded thanks to support from USAID.