Zimbabwe + 4 more

Zimbabwe Situation Report, 6 August 2020

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HIGHLIGHTS

As of 5 August, 4,339 COVID-19 cases and 84 deaths were confirmed, with 75 per cent of cases due to local transmission.
From 1 April to 5 August, over 14,044 Zimbabwean migrants returned from neighbouring countries, with over 1,300 returnees being quarantined.
WFP projects a 50 per cent increase in food insecurity, affecting 8.6 million people by the end of 2020 due to drought, economic recession and COVID-19.
Acute malnutrition is expected to increase by 15 per cent in 2020, with an additional 15,000 children wasted.

Situation Overview

The United Nations and humanitarian partners revised the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) in July to update the response to the COVID-19 outbreak integrating a multisectoral migrant response and reprioritizing humanitarian cluster responses. The updated COVID-19 Addendum requires US$85 million to respond to the immediate public health crisis and the secondary impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable people, in addition to the $715 million required in the HRP.

The 2020 Zimbabwe Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), launched on 2 April 2020, indicates that 7 million people in urban and rural areas are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across Zimbabwe, compared to 5.5 million in August 2019. Since the launch of the Revised Humanitarian Appeal in August 2019, circumstances for millions of Zimbabweans have worsened. Drought and crop failure, exacerbated by macro-economic challenges and austerity measures, have directly affected vulnerable households in both rural and urban communities. Inflation continues to erode purchasing power and affordability of food and other essential goods is a daily challenge. The delivery of health care, clean water and sanitation, and education has been constrained and millions of people are facing challenges to access vital services.

There are more than 4.3 million people severely food insecure in rural areas in Zimbabwe, according to the latest Intergrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, undertaken in February 2020. In addition, 2.2. million people in urban areas, are "cereal food insecure", according to the most recent Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) analysis with a new ZimVAC assessment conducted between 10 and 21 July 2020. WFP projections indicate that the number of food insecure Zimbabweans is likely to increase by almost 50 per cent by the end of 2020. About 8.6 million people, including 5.3 million people in rural areas and 3.3 million people in urban areas, or 60 per cent of the population is expected be food insecure due to the combined effects of drought, economic recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutritional needs remain high with over 1.1 million children and women requiring nutrition assistance. Child malnutrition, including acute malnutrition or wasting, is also expected to increase due to steep declines in household incomes, changes in the availability and affordability of nutritious foods, and interruptions to health, nutrition, and social protection services. The impact of COVID-19 is likely to result in at least an additional 15,000 children been wasted, in addition to the 100,000 children expected to be wasted this year.

At least 4 million vulnerable Zimbabweans are facing challenges accessing primary health care and drought conditions trigger several health risks. Decreasing availability of safe water, sanitation and hygiene have heightened the risk of communicable disease outbreaks for 3.7 million vulnerable people. Some 1.2 million school-age children are facing challenges accessing education. The drought and economic situation have heightened protection risks, particularly for women and children. Over a year after Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe in March 2019, 128,270 people remain in need of humanitarian assistance across the 12 affected districts in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. There are 21,328 refugees and asylum seekers in Zimbabwe who need international protection and multisectoral life-saving assistance to enable them to live in safety and dignity.

As of 5 August 2020, Zimbabwe had confirmed 4,339 COVID-19 cases (vs 926 on 9 July; and 287 on 10 June), including 84 deaths (vs 12 deaths on 9 July, and four deaths on 10 June) since the onset of the outbreak. Four provinces (Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands and Matabeleland South) account for 83 per cent of cases in Zimbabwe, with 75 per cent of all confirmed cases being local cases. The highest weekly incidence risk has been in the urban provinces of Bulawayo and Harare, with a consistent sharp increase in incidence in Harare since the second week of July, increasing incidence in the provinces neighboring Harare, and recent decline in incidence risk in Matabeleland South with predominantly imported transmission.

In addition to the previously announced lockdown regulations, on 21 July, the Government introduced extra measures including a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. except for essential services; official business operating hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the exception of providers of essential services; inter-city/town public transport and inessential transport to all rural areas remaining banned, and the planned reopening of schools on 28 July postponed. Returning residents and foreign nationals are required to quarantine for a period of 21 days, of which the initial seven days at Government designated quarantine centres, with mandatory testing on day one and day eight.

A total of 14,044 migrants have returned to Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries, as of 5 Agust, with the large majority of returnees arriving through the points of entry of Beitbridge border post, Plumtree, Harare International airport and Forbes. The number continues to increase daily, with a projection of 20,000 new arrivals in the next coming months with inclusion of those from northern countries, such as Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

On 5 August, the UN Secretary-General urged the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure the protection of all fundamental human rights, notably the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, in accordance with Zimbabwe's human rights obligations.

In addition to the commitments to the HRP recorded above through the Financial Tracking System (FTS), a number of pledges are in the process of being finalized, including $30 million for the HRP and $14 million for the COVID-19 response from the United Kingdom, $18 million from the United States, $14 million from the European Commission, and $200,000 from Canada. In addition, carryover funding of agencies from 2019 will be reflected in FTS.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.