Zimbabwe: Capacity Building - Information Bulletin n° 1

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 01/2005) is being issued for information only. Based on the needs described below reflecting the information available at this time, CHF 100,000 has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to assist the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society(ZRCS). The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

Following a two-week campaign initiated by the Government of Zimbabwe to clean-up urban slum (or squatter) areas considered illegal (unregistered inhabitants), reports indicate some 30,000 people have been arrested, homes and businesses have been destroyed, and 200,000 people are estimated by the United Nations to be homeless. The clean-up campaign has focused primarily on specific areas of Harare city, but other cities are affected as the operation is extended to urban and peri-urban areas of the country. The campaign has had a particularly disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable - the very poor, the chronically sick, and child-headed households. More detailed information on those directly affected is currently being compiled.


A task force comprising the ICRC, the International Federation, and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) is providing guidance and direction. The ZRCS, working in its role as auxiliary to the Government, is currently monitoring the situation, collecting data, and undertaking advocacy efforts with relevant government ministries concerned with health, social welfare and local government.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

While the ZRCS is currently focused on monitoring and data collection, individuals in serious need are being assisted on a case by case basis. The Federation released 800 litres of fuel (3 and 4 June) to the ZRCS for use in the provinces as there is currently very limited fuel available in the country.

Stock levels of non-food items (blankets, soap, kitchen sets, and jerry cans) in Harare are adequate, and there is general agreement that these stocks may be used to support immediate humanitarian needs. CHF 100,000 has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to replenish items distributed for this situation, and to provide support to the ZRCS in their efforts to assist those in need.

Among the affected population, some 18,000 persons are already provided assistance under a programme managed by the ZRCS. Based on recently updated information, more than 1,000 households in six provinces will require further immediate assistance. The situation is evolving, and the priority needs identified by the teams on the ground are blankets, soap, chlorine sachets, kitchen sets, and jerrycans.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Zimbabwe: Emma Kundishora, Secretary General, Zimbabwe Red Cross Society; Email, zrcs@ ecoweb.co.zw; Phone 00263 4 332638, 00263 4 332 197 , Fax 00263 4 335490

In Zimbabwe: Francoise Le Goff, Head of Regional Delegation for Southern Africa; Email; ifrczw02@ifrc.org; Phone, 00236 4 705177/7, Fax +263 4 708 784

In Geneva: Terry Carney, Federation Regional Officer for Southern Africa, Africa Dept.; Email, terry.carney@ifrc.org; Phone 41.22.730.42.98, Fax 41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org