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United Nations (UN)

Humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe

Issue Number 8
Reporting Period 01-30 June 2006

United Nations (UN)

SARPN acknowledges the office of the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe for this report.
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  • CERF funds four proposals in Zimbabwe (see section II)
  • 2006 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Zimbabwe 44% funded (see section II, table on page 5)
  • Cereal production improved but may not be sufficient, FAO (see section III)
  • Malaria puts 5 million at risk, kills 2,000 yearly (Central Statistical Office – CSO) (see section III)
  • 31,000 people on government anti-retroviral treatment programme (see section III)
  • FAO surveying impact of agricultural assistance (see section V)
  • See map and population figures for Zimbabwe on page 5
  1. Essential statistics/data

    • 11,750 million country population in 10 provinces, with 61 districts (CSO)
    • 2.4 million people affected in varying degrees and 700,000 people lost shelter, livelihoods due to Operation Restore Order/Murambatsvina of May – July 2005 (UNSG Special Envoy’s Report on Zimbabwe, 18/07/05 – figures disputed in the GoZ response.)
    • 1,184% inflation rate down from 1,193.5% in May (CSO)
    • ZW$68,5m (US$678) cost of living for a family of five up from ZW$41m in May. (CSO)
    • 21.3% HIV prevalence rate for age group 15-49 years; (UNAIDS, Press Release, 10 October 2005)
    • ˜1.8 million people of all ages are HIV infected (MoHCW, NAC strategy document 2004).
    • ˜1.3 million children orphaned by 2003, 75% due to AIDS. (UNFPA)

  2. Funding

    • The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator has approved US$250,000 from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to each of the four projects in nutrition, child protection, shelter and health. The projects were identified by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and approved by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) in May 2006.

    • The Zimbabwe CAP is 44% funded. Contributions received so far for the priority projects in the CAP total US$112,404,758 of the US$257,704,441 requested in the CAP 2006, which was endorsed by the IASC and approved by the HC (See tables on page 5). In percentage terms, Zimbabwe ranks 7th in CAP funding status among 20 CAPs. By mid June, the global (aggregated) appeal was 35% funded. Few NGO projects have also been funded through the CAP. We appeal to donors for more funding to critical sector needs outlined in the CAP. Meanwhile, OCHA is collaborating with agencies to ensure accurate reporting of their funding status on Reliefweb Financial Tracking System (

  3. Humanitarian situation analysis

    Food security and livelihoods [from FAO]
    • Cereal production prospects look favourable compared to last year’s drought-affected output of about 550,000 tonnes for maize.
    • Government estimates the 2006 maize harvest to be 1,8 metric tonnes (MT). FAO forecast the maize production to between 1 and 1.2 MT. This is in line with estimations from USDA of 1.1 to 1.2 MT and the Global Monitoring for Food Security (GMFS) projection of 1.16 MT.
    • In addition to maize, crops such as millet and sorghum, on which fertilizer is normally not applied in Zimbabwe, have reportedly done very well this year as indicated by statistics in this section. Therefore, for the total Zimbabwean population of 11.75 million, the preliminary estimate of maize import requirement for 2006/07 marketing year (April/March) is estimated at about 300,000 tonnes, which is about one-fourth of the level of the previous year. According to the Central Statistical Office, Zimbabwe needs 1,410mt of maize to feed its 11,75m population per year.
    • Additional information on the food production, food security situation and other vulnerability aspects should soon be available from the findings of the 2006 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) to be released at the end of July.
    • According to information from seed houses about 43,000 MT of maize seed are available for the 2006/07 season. Negotiations are still ongoing between the Government and seed houses to agree on seed producer prices for the 2006/07 season. Indications based on area planted are that there is inadequate groundnut and sunflower seeds for the 2006/07 season. In principle the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture agreed to allow NGOs to buy seed locally. According to FAO the Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association is expecting to get an official letter from the Ministry of Agriculture to this effect.

    Food Aid [from WFP]
    • Harvest from the 2005/6 season has improved maize grain availability in most parts of the country with villagers mainly relying on self-production to meet cereal needs (WFP). However, there are concerns that food stocks in some areas may not last beyond September/October 2006. Buhera district (eastern Zimbabwe) is one example with reports of declining food security due to poor harvest. WFP currently provides school feeding to 76,000 pre- and primary-school children in Buhera, while supporting 75,000 chronically ill people in the district with monthly food rations through home based care.
    • In June 2006, WFP provided 1 million beneficiaries with approximately 7,000mt of food through targeted activities, including school feeding, support for orphans and home based care for the chronically ill, and urban feeding programmes.
    • WFP monitoring shows that maize grain supply, and price, on the open market has remained relatively stable in most parts of the country. Areas reporting unavailability of grain include Marondera, Mount Darwin, Chinhoyi and Murehwa (North-Eastern Zimbabwe) where it is alleged that unavailability is due to farmers withholding grain in anticipation of improved selling prices. The Government has appointed the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) as the sole purchaser of maize. However, as reported in the local media, some farmers are reluctant to sell their grain to the GMB at its offering price of ZW$31 million per tonne (NB: UN exchange rate is US$1 = ZW$ 225,000 while rates on the parallel market reportedly exceed ZW$400,000 = US$1).

    Health [from WHO, UNICEF, FAO, IOM and The Herald]
    • The Minister of Health and Child Welfare (MoHCW) in mid June announced in the government media that people on government anti-retroviral treatment (ART) programme have increased from about 25,000 to about 31,000 with an assurance for access to the life prolonging drugs. The Reserve Bank has provided US$1million funding for the programme.
    • The government has indicated that the Measles Immunization campaign (10-21 June) was a success and it is compiling the total number of children that were immunized. Previous campaigns achieved 85% coverage and government has indicated that this time around it wanted 100 percent coverage. Meanwhile, the government is monitoring the situation in Namibia where an outbreak of polio has been reported.
    • The Minister of Health, Dr. David Parirenyatwa on Africa Malaria Day Campaign confirmed that malaria is a significant public health problem in Zimbabwe where 52 out of 62 districts are designated malaria prone areas with 26 of them being high malaria endemic areas. Over five million people in Zimbabwe are at risk of contracting malaria each year and the disease accounts for over 2,000 deaths per year.
    • The MoHCW has gathered fresh reports of cholera outbreaks in Chiredzi district (Masvingo Province) and Kariba district (Mashonaland West Province). There are few cases reported but these reports and the magnitudes of the outbreaks are still being verified by the respective provincial health authorities in the two provinces.
    • Scabies outbreak affected mobile and vulnerable people in the Fairfields settlement of Makoni District in the province of Manicaland.
    • Avian Flu Update - As of June 1st the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus which causes Avian Influenza (AI) has been confirmed in 8 African countries: Egypt, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Sudan and Ivory Coast. Somalia is considered “suspicious”, and therefore lab confirmation is needed. Egypt and Djibouti are the only two African countries that have reported transmission of the virus to humans. The Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) funded a technical workshop that developed the National AI preparedness plan for Zimbabwe in May 2006, and this workshop received technical support from FAO and WHO. This plan will be incorporated into the regional preparedness plan. Technical experts to the workshop were drawn from among others, Division of Livestock Production and Veterinary Services, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, WHO, FAO, UNICEF, ZIMRA, National Parks ,ZINWA and Centre for Disease Control (CDC). The WHO funded and facilitated a Training of Trainers course from 19 to 22 June 2006 for Avian Influenza Preparedness and Control and six (6) technical experts from the MoHCW and WHO Country Office participated. This core-group will be responsible for cascading the training in Zimbabwe.

    Child Protection [from UNICEF]
    • A number of child protection issues emerged from UNICEF’s partners coducting the training on SBGV such as high risk sexual behaviours and drug abuse. In order to address these and other relevant child protection issues, UNICEF is undertaking targeted activites as outlined under the “response” section III.

    Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) [from IOM]
    • The provision of shelter for vulnerable people that were affected by Operation Murambatsvina is of critical importance. IOM is closely working with government authorities to identify people in need and ensure that they are allocated stands for the construction of their temporary shelter in both urban and rural areas countrywide. (Refer to section III).

    Water and sanitation [from OCHA & UNICEF]
    • Closely linked to the shelter needs, is the need to address water and sanitation for the mobile and vulnerable people to forestall disease outbreaks and improve the HIV and AIDS home based care programmes. To this aim, UNICEF and IOM are collaborating closely since inception of the clean up operation last year. (Refer to section III).

    Education [from UNICEF]
    • High cost of school fees and perceived deteriorating quality of education remain the main challenges to affected children.

    NGO Issues [from OCHA]
    • A draft of the NGO guidelines on registration, MoUs and temporary employment permits produced by the government is under cabinet consideration and may be approved in early July.
    • The Ministry of Social Welfare at the end of June sent out to NGOs a survey questionnaire entitled 'Survey on Expatriates in Private Sector Companies and NGOs in Zimbabwe'. The survey requests historical data concerning national and international staff from 2003 to date, including names and skills, job titles, rationale for recruiting international staff, measures taken to source staff nationally and internship/training programmes and how these have progressed. It also asks how Temporary Employment Permits processing may be improved. Some NGOs have confirmed having received it. Consultations are ongoing between the Ministry of Social Welfare and the humanitarian community in this regard.

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