Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe - Emergency food assistance to populations affected by the 2005 drought

  1. Overview of the Emergency Crisis

1.1 The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) submitted a request to the Bank by letter dated 1 July 2005 for contributions to WFP's Regional Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO 10310). In a letter dated 8 August 2005, Mr. Koffi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, informed the Bank that Southern Africa is facing an acute phase of chronic emergency, and has therefore issued a call to the international community to provide food to support the region's most vulnerable people. The Government of Zimbabwe (the "Government"), on its part, has submitted a request for assistance to the Bank Group by letter dated 18 October 2005.

1.2 The results from the Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAMs) and assessments by national Vulnerability Assessment Committees (VACs), conducted during April and May 2005, indicate that the level of food insecurity and vulnerability is significantly higher than originally envisaged in the PRRO. In Zimbabwe, preliminary estimates suggest a national cereal deficit of at least 1.2 million MT (April 2005-March 2006), representing over 60% of consumption requirements. Taking into account the Government import plans, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that as many as 3 to 5 million people may not be able to access food through the marketing channels or planned Government relief schemes. Across the operation's interventions, women represent about 52% of the total planned beneficiaries.

2. Food Requirements

2.1 In accordance with the findings of the CFSAMs, overall relief needs are expected to increase throughout the second half of 2005. The need for relief assistance will peak during the lean periods (November through March). WFP has elaborated the PRRO 10310 which will cover the period from January 2005 to December 2007. Since inception in January 2005, PRRO 10310 has received contributions of US$212 million including carry-over stocks from previous emergency operations.

2.2 The most urgently required commodity is cereal, comprising 85% of the shortfall. By November, WFP will not have enough cereals to feed all targeted beneficiaries. Maize and its products are the staple food. With cash donations WFP is procuring most of the maize in South Africa - which has a large surplus - while prices remain competitive. Since January 2002, WFP has purchased nearly 1.4 million tons of food in southern Africa at a cost of US$270 million. Already this year WFP has purchased almost 260,000 tons of food in southern Africa, worth approximately $48 million. . The net relief needs foreseen from July 2005 to April 2006 total 264,850 tons (comprising 221,170 tons cereals; 16,999 tons of cereal maize; 24,374 tons of pulses; and 2,307 tons of oil).

3. The Bank's Contribution to the Emergency Humanitarian Relief Assistance

3.1 The objective of the proposed Bank emergency humanitarian relief assistance is to contribute to the alleviation of the suffering of the drought-affected victims in Zimbabwe. Relief food assistance will target vulnerable individuals and households with the primary objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods, and will be distributed through programming categories such as Food Security, Health and Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and Education. The emergency relief assistance operation will be funded through a grant from the Bank's Special Relief Fund (SRF). The total grant amount will be limited to the approved country ceiling of US$500,000 (five hundred thousand). ). It is proposed that the total contribution of US$ 500,000 would be used for buying approximately 1,000 tons of maize in South African, transport and distribution costs.

3.2 Relief food assistance will be channelled through targeted food distribution to households with insufficient crop production (as a result of insufficient rainfall), as well as those with no livestock or other sources of income (remittances, wage labour, etc) to purchase food and other basic needs; and widows, orphans, female- and elderly-headed households without visible means of survival. Relief assistance will be specifically targeted to provinces and districts most affected by poor rainfall.

4. Organisation and Management

4.1 Institutional Arrangements: According to the Bank's Emergency Policy Guidelines, (ADB/BD/WP/98/41/Rev.2) (the "Guidelines") and Procedures for Humanitarian Relief Assistance (ADB/BD/WP/2003/34/Rev.1) (the "Procedures"), implementation of the emergency humanitarian relief assistance will be entrusted to appropriate organisations operating in the field at the time of the emergency. They include United Nations agencies, or an appropriate government agency or NGO. WFP will thus be entrusted with the implementation of the emergency relief assistance operation. It already has a well established network in the country for food relief assistance distribution. GOZ has provided no-objection to the assistance being channelled through WFP.

4.2 Agreement: (i) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed between the Bank and the WFP and (ii) Protocol of Agreement (Protocol) will be signed between the Bank and the Government, that together will define the modalities for the implementation of the emergency food relief assistance operation and responsibilities and obligations of each party. The administrative fee paid to WFP shall not exceed 5% of the total amount of the grant.

4.3 Disbursement: The grant resources will be disbursed in two tranches of fifty percent each. The first tranche will be disbursed exceptionally to the WFP upon this Board's approval of the grant. The second tranche will be disbursed following the signature of the Protocol and the MOU. The funds will be disbursed into an account to be provided by WFP.

4.4 Procurement: The food items will be procured using WFP's procurement rules with strict respect to the Bank's rule on the origin of goods. WFP would be able to purchase, where available, food locally or within the region.

4.5 Duration: The Guidelines and Procedures stipulate that emergency humanitarian relief assistance is typically a short-term operation, lasting a few months. Consequently, a period of six months has been proposed for the execution of this emergency relief assistance.

4.6 Reporting and Auditing: WFP provides annual Standard Project Reports (SPRs) to all donors through its website. A final report, containing an operational and a financial section, is also provided upon completion of the operational and financial closure of the project. The SPR provides information on the use of the resources and the results obtained. WFP will report by April 2006 on activities that took place during 2005.

5. Compliance with Bank Policies

This request is compliant with the provisions of the Guidelines and Procedures which are applicable to emergency situations resulting from natural disasters such as drought, floods, hurricanes or earthquakes, accidents such as bush fires, or conflicts.

6. Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions:

6.1 The proposed Bank emergency humanitarian relief assistance is to contribute to the alleviation of the suffering of the drought-affected victims in Zimbabwe. This will target vulnerable individuals and households with the primary objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods, and will be distributed through programming categories such as Food Security, Health and Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and Education. The emergency relief assistance operation will be funded through a grant from the Bank's Special Relief Fund (SRF).

Recommendations:

6.2 In accordance with the Guidelines, and Procedures and General Regulation of the Special Relief Fund (SRF), it is recommended that the Bank assists the affected populations in Zimbabwe with a grant not exceeding five hundred thousand United States dollars (US$500,000).

6.3 In view of the urgency of the situation, it is recommended that the Boards of Directors exceptionally approve this proposal, with the full understanding that disbursement of an amount, not exceeding US$250,000 would be released upon Board approval of this proposal, and disbursement of the balance of US$250,000 will be allowed upon signature of each of the Protocol and the MOU.