Zimbabwe Humanitarian Situation Report 4 Aug 2003

Regional appeal launched
The UN Regional Consolidated Appeal 2003/2004 for Southern Africa was officially launched, following the incorporation of aspects of the GoZ appeal to the Zimbabwe section on 29th July 2003, in Geneva, New York and Johannesburg simultaneously. To coincide with the launch Mr. James Morris the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa reviewed the work implanted through the last CAP and said "Because of the quick response from the international community, the UN and its NGO partners saved millions of lives threatened by starvation in southern Africa over the past year. But the crisis is not over and I urge donors to remember hundreds of thousands of families -- many of them in Zimbabwe -- who are still in grave danger." The CAP focuses heavily on the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. "The world cannot afford to avert its gaze from southern Africa right now. If it does we will see an accelerated and irreversible unravelling of societies across the region' said Mr Morris. Mr. Morris stated the importance of the HIV/AIDS crisis in stating "As long as HIV/AIDS continues to be the single biggest destroyer of lives and livelihoods in this region, southern Africa will remain on the precipice of an unparalleled humanitarian tragedy," said Morris. "We absolutely cannot return to a 'business as usual' approach in southern Africa. It is simply not an option."

GoZ underlines assistance needs

GoZ has outlined it's commitment to ensuring that relief is brought to those areas of Zimbabwe that are in need of assistance. This commitment was underlined through His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe's address at the opening of the fourth session of the fifth parliament of Zimbabwe on 22nd July 2003. In this opening address, President Mugabe highlighted the need to assist communities in Matebeleland, Midlands and parts of Masvingo provinces. He also highlighted HIV/AIDS as the greatest challenge confronting the country.

The President outlined the GoZ commitment to providing for the nation's water requirements to enhance food production and security as well as promote agricultural export was outlined. He also announced the GoZ intention to make amendments to the Non-Governmental Organizations Bill and to implement changes that will see the Civil Protection Act becoming the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Act. This position is elaborated in the GoZ Appeal for UN Humanitarian Assistance.

WFP update

WFP field reports continue to stress the scarcity and erratic provision of GMB maize nationwide and its continued unavailability for those still in a position to purchase it. The situation is further complicated by the prevailing confusion over the official prices of maize. Field reports indicate the price of a 50kg bag of maize meal ranges between Z$700 and Z$13 300 depending on the GMB depot where it is sold. WFP hopes a solution to the general lack of food supply will be found soon, whether through GMB efforts to procure sufficient stocks of maize, or by enabling the private sector to import and market maize in both rural and urban areas. WFP food distributions for August are now continuing with a projected level of 17,000MT for some 1.4 million people in 35 districts. WFP expects that by September/October many households throughout the country will have consumed available stocks. At that point, depending on the availability of resources and the timely arrival of food shipments, WFP would plan to gradually increase the number of beneficiaries. WFP expects to soon announce a significant contribution, which should substantially strengthen the food aid pipeline in the coming months. The numbers in need of food aid may increase beyond earlier WFP projections depending on the amount of food made available by GMB and other sources.

Mid-year review in Child Protection

The UNICEF Child Protection Section held its mid-year review last week Thursday 31 July 2003. Under the broad umbrella of community action for children at risk, the programme focuses on orphans and vulnerable children, as well as prevention and reduction of child abuse.

Besides and as part of a UN-wide humanitarian response programme, UNICEF Zimbabwe seeks to promote integrated child development with an emphasis on education for the girl child, immunization, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention, care and mitigation, and child protection. Among the key outcomes of the section's work over the past six months have been:

  • A Draft National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, the final version of which will be ready by the end of August

  • Scaling-up of the Zero Tolerance Campaign Against Child Abuse.

  • Establishment of the Harare Taskforce for organizations providing services to children living and/or working on/of the streets. The key priorities over the remaining part of the year include:

  • Continued awareness raising on the rights of children with a special focus on the right to a nurturing and caring family environment, the right to be protected from abuse and exploitation, the right to an identity through birth registration, the right to participate as well as the right to food, psycho-social support and health;

  • Ongoing analysis and documentation of "who is doing what where" and the capacity of the various stakeholders dealing with orphans, urban vulnerable children and children victimized by abuse and exploitation;

  • Strengthened coordination of interventions through networking;

  • Focused involvement of the Children's Parliament;

  • Endorsement of the National Plan of Action (NPA) for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) by the government, distribution of the NPA to stakeholders and overseeing its implementation.

Strengthening M & E system for HIV/AIDS response in the Humanitarian Crisis The National Aids Council (NAC) has recognized the need for standardized data collection tools to track resources. Progress indicators need to be developed and adopted. Both monitoring and evaluation should be factored into the HIV/AIDS Humanitarian Crisis programming from the beginning. Initiatives being taken forward include: The establishment of an M&E unit at NAC The aim is to develop a well-established M&E Department within NAC that has formalized links with MOHCW, UN Theme group and Working Group on HIV/AIDS, research institutions, leading NGO's and donors.

Core National Indicators and targets workshop An M&E task force will prepare a workshop on National HIV/AIDS indicators and targets to assess HIV/AIDS program progress. A set of priority national indicators and additional indicators on HIV/AIDS and humanitarian crisis for tracking and reporting on inputs, process, outcomes and impact as part of the M&E plan will be addressed during the two day workshop.

Sensitization on Human Rights Based Approach

UNCT hosted a workshop aimed at sensitizing UN officers on the Human Rights Based Approach to Programming and Community Centred Capacity development. Human Rights are integral to the promotion of peace and security, economic prosperity and social equity. A major task for the UN is to fully integrate human rights into the broad range of the organization's activities. In order to maintain and even increase the human rights standards in Zimbabwe the UN Country team has set itself the target of adopting the Human Rights Based Approach to Programming. The workshop was held from 4 -- 6 August 2003, in Harare. The workshop objectives were to:

1. Facilitate a common understanding of human rights, human rights instruments and their key principles, and the correlative duties and responsibilities and basic tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2. Sensitize participants on the Human Rights Based Approach to Programming with special emphasis on: i. Community Centred Capacity Development Process. ii. Gender mainstreaming. The workshop was primarily facilitated by UNICEF and there were presentations by UNDP, UNAIDS and UNIFEM.

UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator/RRU