Zimbabwe: Monthly Humanitarian Update, July 2010


Key Points h

- Resurgence of cholera outbreak reported.

- 480,000 households to receive agricultural input support.

- 1..3 million rural Zimbabweans expected to be food insecure during peak hunger season.

I. Situation Overview

Humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe are still large and substantial. Despite a significant improvement compared to 2008/9, little has happened to consolidate the gains and the situation remains fragile and uncertain. Consequently, the country remains vulnerable to the impact of unseen new emergencies.

As a result, agencies in Zimbabwe need $478 million to meet the country's immediate humanitarian needs through the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP). This is an additional $100 million above the initial $378 million requested when the 2010 appeal was launched in December 2009. The increases are largely for agriculture, food aid and health-related projects.

Key priorities to be addressed by the revised 2010 CAP include improving levels of food security, prevention of and rapid response to disease outbreaks, protection-related issues and response to natural disasters. Food aid activities, initially scheduled until April 2010, were extended to December 2010 due to the protracted dry spell from mid-December 2009 to February 2010, which affected food security in parts of the country. Currently about 540,000 people require food aid, a figure expected to rise to 904,000 from October to December 2010 and subsequently 1.3 million at the peak of the hunger season from January to March 2011; 4.5 million people have limited or no access to safe water and sanitation in rural and urban areas; 1.6 million children require support to access education while there has been a marked decline in student enrolment at schools since 2006; and 15,000 severely malnourished children under 5 years are at very high risk of dying in Zimbabwe.

The fragility of Zimbabwe's humanitarian situation is largely because of the prevailing degradation of infrastructure in the basic sectors of health, water and sanitation and food security. While some early recovery activities are ongoing as part of humanitarian actions, the lack of major funding for recovery and development remains a major hindrance to moving the country out of a situation of generalized humanitarian need.

The humanitarian response, through the CAP, contributed to saving lives by providing food to vulnerable populations and supporting vital social services including health and education at a critical point in Zimbabwe's history, despite funding challenges.

However, currently the 2010 CAP is only 41.6% funded. Lack of funding at this critical point threatens to reverse progress made between the latter part of 2009 and now. Support is desperately needed to avert loss of more lives and a further erosion of social infrastructure. Without sustained interventions Zimbabweans remain vulnerable to unforeseen emergencies as illustrated by recent multiple disease outbreaks such as cholera, malaria, measles and typhoid which resulted in preventable deaths.

The humanitarian community continues to appeal to donors for increased funding. On their part, humanitarian partners will continue to render assistance through instruments such as the CAP. All activities will be undertaken while ensuring humanitarian and Government priorities remain complementary in all sectors. In parallel, efforts should be made to address the root causes of resurging humanitarian needs through restoration of basic infrastructure and livelihood programmes. A concerted effort by all stakeholders, including the GoZ, donors and the humanitarian community, is essential in this regard.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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