Zimbabwe: World Vision Zimbabwe Relief programmes on track

Relief in response to the unfolding humanitarian needs has expanded its programme to cover about 1,7 million beneficiaries in 18 districts throughout the country.
The general food aid program has distributed a record 20,485 metric tonnes of food in a single month. World Vision is distributing food on behalf of the World Food Program and USAID/C-SAFE.

Running parallel to general food distribution is the child supplementary feeding programme. The programme covers 14 ADP areas feeding 103,444 children under-seven in total.

Children receive daily wet feedings at community-based feeding points. USAID provides the CSB for the feeding.

WV Zimbabwe is also implementing a Water and Sanitation program in Mukumbura area of Mt. Darwin through ECHO.

The program focuses on rehabilitation and upgrading of existing water points, drilling new boreholes and facilitating participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation.

The aim of the project is to reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease and decrease walking distance to safe water points in Mukumbura.

To contribute to maintaining livelihoods and avert sustained reliance upon food aid, WV Zimbabwe is currently implementing a large agricultural recovery program.

The goal of the program is to increase access to agricultural inputs for vulnerable farmers receiving food aid.

In the 2002/2003 agricultural season, WV Zimbabwe has extended input support to over 120,000 households. In addition to seed distribution, the program has offered extension and training in conservation farming, promotion of drought-tolerant small grain production, and has integrated HIV/AIDS awareness.

The program is sustained through multiple donors including CIDA, OFDA, LEAD, FAO and subcontracting through HELP Germany.

The current agricultural season has yielded mixed results. Crop production has generally been poor and has even failed in many areas of the country.

Matabeleland South province has been declared a disaster. Years of concurrent drought have seriously affected both crops and livestock. . Seed companies are experiencing low local seed production and are projecting significant shortfalls in meeting this year's demand. Furthermore, the sustained food insecurity situation and poor anticipated harvest will result in limited retention of seed by smallholder farmers. Significant levels of import will be necessary to meet demands for seed in the upcoming season.

In response to the evolving needs, World Vision Zimbabwe is actively preparing a number of concept papers and proposals for the next season.

Building upon the experiences of last season and existing relationships with communities in the operational areas, WV Zimbabwe aims to increase access to appropriate agricultural inputs and support among vulnerable smallholder farmers and contribute to increased household food security through the production of drought-tolerant food crops.

Lessons from last season illustrate the need to also invest in the maintenance of tillage capacity to ensure minimum levels of production.