Appeal as 4 million in need of humanitarian assistance

Jul 7, 2016

As the number of people affected by the drought rises to 4 million, the Government, UN, NGOs, development partners and the private sector have reinforced their collective commitment to continue to work together to leverage their response  and ensure that no one starves or dies of hunger in Zimbabwe.

The renewed commitment came as the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) 2016/2017 Rural Livelihood Assessment established that the number of food- insecure people in Zimbabwe would increase to over 4 million during the next peak lean season (January to March 2017).

The third Multi-Stakeholder Consultative meeting held on 7 July, 2016 was jointly hosted by the Office of the President and Cabinet and the UN System in Zimbabwe, and brought together 200 senior representatives from the Government, diplomatic corps, development partners, NGOs, private sector and the media.

Taking stock of the multi-sectoral humanitarian response undertaken by the Government, UN, NGOs and the private sector - made possible through the generous contributions from development partners – UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Bishow Parajuli, stressed that “the findings of the 2016/2017 ZimVAC and the 43 per cent increase in the number of food insecure people will demand that we scale up our humanitarian response efforts in the coming months.”

“The UN System is committed to continue to work with the Government and the development and humanitarian partners to further scale-up humanitarian, resilience-building and development activities to reach those who are most vulnerable.  Also in view of the economic challenges the country is facing, I appeal for increased international support” said Mr Parajuli.

Food insecurity levels increased significantly in all 60 districts and in particular in the twenty most food-insecure districts.  In the districts with the highest food insecurity levels – Binga and Mudzi – 79 per cent of the population will be food insecure in the period January to March 2017- an increase of 50 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

According to the ZimVAC report, the impact of the El Nino-induced drought is being felt not only in rural areas but also in urban areas. Inviting stakeholders to avail technical, in-kind and financial support, the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Rtd. Col. Christian Katsande said that the Government will conduct an urban livelihood assessment to assess urban and peri-urban food security.  “This assessment is critical as it will provide a more holistic picture of the population deemed to be food-insecure in the whole country.”

Since the Humanitarian Response Plan was finalized in April 2016, over USD 100 million has been committed against the USD 360 million sought.  These include contributions from USAID, China, ECHO, DFID, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark.

Acknowledging the development partners’ generous support, UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli stressed however that with the increase in the affected population, a significant funding gap remains. Therefore, in addition to Food and Agriculture, it would be critical to also support Health and Nutrition; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Education; and Protection sectors, which are severely under-funded.

“In education sector, for example, we need to invest more for inclusive school feeding, as investment in the children’s future is an investment in Zimbabwe’s future,” urged Parajuli.

The El Nino-induced drought has affected the entire Southern Africa region.  According to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), an estimated 41 million people in the region are food-insecure, with more than 21 million in urgent need of assistance.  In response to the worst drought in 35 years, the SADC prepared a regional appeal, which is expected to be launched later this month.

Going forward, the Government and development partners emphasized the need for: scaling up the drought response; joint support to the urban vulnerability assessment; strengthening the monitoring system in programme implementation; and planning and preparing for possible effects of La Nina as well as strengthening of early warning systems.

 

Contact information

For more details, please contact:

Kanako Mabuchi, Head of UN Resident Coordinator’s Office: Kanako.mabuchi@one.un.org

+ 263 782 784 957

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