Zimbabwe: Food Insecurity - Emergency Plan of Action operation MDRZW011 update n° 1



A slow onset of the rainy season in Zimbabwe was followed by severe flooding that destroyed crops. This situation was followed, and exacerbated, by a long dry spell, resulting in a crop yield below the 5 year average. According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) report it is estimated that up to 16% (1,490,024) of Zimbabwe’s rural population are food insecure and will be in need of food assistance at the peak of the hunger period. Coping mechanisms are severely strained, and social safety-net interventions by the Government and partners are limited. The ZIMVAC report highlights the need to scale-up nutrition-specific interventions to promote crop production. Malnutrition remains a challenge especially in children under five. The challenge of food insecurity is exacerbated by the continued poor storage of crops, and hence there is a continued need for promotion of improved food storage. While the immediate needs of these households are food assistance, ZRCS proposes that food assistance provided be complemented by livelihoods recovery interventions such as seed support, training in climate-smart agriculture practices, and water and sanitation activities.

ZRCS will provide assistance 10,830 persons (2,166 households) that are in a severe food insecurity situation in the Mudzi, and Muzarabani Districts through cash transfers to 2,166 households to meet immediate food needs, for the lean period from November 2015 to March 2016 using mobile phones. The cash transfer value of US$ 48 per household per month was recommended based on the findings of market surveys conducted to determine the cost of a standard food basket for a household.

The livelihoods recovery activities and trainings will be implemented with support from 100 lead farmers who will cascade trainings to the targeted beneficiaries. Each lead farmer will cascade trainings and skills to an average of 20 households. The trainings will focus on livelihoods support with an emphasis on climate change and adaptation through increasing awareness in climate smart agricultural practices. To ensure effective utilisation of the resources all planned trainings will seek to integrate and mainstream information on nutrition, livelihoods and health promotion.

Twenty boreholes will be rehabilitated in Mudzi district, and five in Muzarabani. To ensure sustainability of the intervention, water point committees will be set up and trained to maintain the boreholes and ensure that the water points are used in a sustainable manner. Participatory Health and Hygiene Education (PHHE) activities will be conducted in the targeted districts through 60 volunteers. Trained volunteers will be do hygiene promotion and nutrition education in the target districts through household visits to educate the community on good hygiene practices. The operation also proposes to train 20 volunteers in mobile data collection using Open Data Kit (ODK) for the purposes of monitoring the operation along with Branch Organizational Capacity Assessment (BOCA) assessments that will be conducted to assess the capacity of ZRCS branches in the targeted districts to identify areas of strengths and recommend areas for improvement.