Zimbabwe: Humanitarian Response Plan (April 2016 - March 2017) - Updated version September 2016



STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: Provide life-saving food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable communities affected by drought.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: Secure access to basic services for vulnerable populations.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: Ensure continuous linkage to resilience and early recovery agenda.





  • Food Insecurity

  • High levels of acute malnutrition

  • Poor access to basic services

Overview of the Crisis

Since the publication of the 2016-17 Zimbabwe HRP, the situation has dramatically deteriorated across the country. Post harvest assessments and the July Report of the Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) indicate that up to 4.1 million people in rural areas will be affected by food insecurity during the peak hunger period (January - March 2017). This amounts to 42% of the rural population. In August, 2.2 million people are in need of urgent food assistance. The ZimVAC highlights that in 20 districts, the levels of food insecurity lie between 50% and 79%. Approximately 4,3 million people in rural and urban areas are in need of water and sanitation services between now until March 2017. The nutrition situation has also deteriorated: four districts are above WHO thresholds for ‘serious’ or ‘critical’ GAM rates, and further 16 districts are classified as 'poor'.

Although the results of the Crop and Livestock Assessment are still to be released, the drought situation has negatively impacted national maize production which is currently estimated to be over 500,000 MT while the cereal deficit in the country is estimated at approximately 1 million MT. Increasing prices and diminishing purchasing power are limiting vulnerable farmers’ capacity to access inputs and services in preparation for the 2016/17 agricultural season.

It is estimated that 196,000 people, including children, are living with HIV in the 15 districts worst affected by drought. Food insecurity increases the risk to HIV infection and default on care especially by young people, girls and women.

Migration and other coping strategies employed by rural communities have created pockets of vulnerability in periurban and urban areas and other districts. Approximately 200 children are estimated to have separated from their primary caregiver due to drought induced internal migration.

The erratic hydrological cycle and El Nino has also had a severe impact on the water resources and water availability, resulting in water insecurity. This has placed an extra burden of labour on women and girls and exposes them to violations of personal security and gender based violence as they travel long distances to fetch water for domestic use and engage in casual jobs outside the home for income to procure food.

The deteriorating economic situation is further compounding vulnerabilities of the food and nutrition insecure population as negative impacts continue to affect vulnerable women and children in Zimbabwe, with the situation expected to worsen in the coming months.

In light of these developments, the humanitarian community, in close cooperation with the Government of Zimbabwe, has updated the Humanitarian Response Plan to scale up the multisectoral response to meet the growing needs. Assessment data on the impact of El Niño on urban areas will be available in October 2016. Partners are closely monitoring forecasts on the likelihood and expected severity of the impacts of the possible La Niña episode towards the end of the year.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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