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Oxfam GB food security assessment

Produced by Mary Khozombah

Oxfam GB

May 2005

SARPN acknowledges Oxfam GB as the source of this document.
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Oxfam GB’s mission is to work with others to overcome poverty and suffering. Oxfam GB is committed to improving emergency response times and preparedness and increasing impact by strengthening the effectiveness and accountability of its humanitarian work. Oxfam GB’s programmes in Zimbabwe now and in the past include: targeted food provision through vouchers, distribution of seeds, seed fairs and fertilizer, livestock fairs, training on conservation farming and support to vegetable gardens and seed multiplication sites through micro irrigation as well as HIV/AIDS and gender mainstreaming.

The rainfall pattern for the 2004-2005 season was very erratic and poorly distributed with long dry spells that led to permanent wilting of most crops and poor performance of the replanted crops and others that had survived the dry spells. The result was a drought that affected both crop and livestock production since the rains received were well below normal such that dams, rivers and wells are likely to dry up much earlier than normal during the coming year. The market situation is also not very encouraging since prices of basic food commodities escalated soon after the March 31st parliamentary elections. Basic commodities such as sugar and cooking oil started to become scarce and people started hording and reselling at a profit on the black market. These were all indicators of likely food insecurity.

Oxfam GB decided to assess the Food Security situation in the areas where it is currently implementing programmes and hopefully link up with other agencies in the country for a more coordinated and effective analysis of the situation and response.

Objectives of the assessment

  1. To assess the impact of the 2004-2005 drought on the food security situation of households living in parts of Zvishavane, Chirumanzu, Gutu and Masvingo districts (Oxfam GB’s operational areas)
  2. To understand the general capacity of the households to cope and recover
  3. To gain a better understanding of the linkages between livelihoods and other issues such as HIV/AIDS
  4. To identify short, medium and long term food security and livelihoods interventions

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