Georges van Montfort, UNDP Zimbabwe Resident Representative a.i; Eddie Rowe, WFP Zimbabwe Representative and Director; and Annabel Gerry, Head of DFID Zimbabwe and South Africa have signed a £3.5 million (about USD $5 million) agreement to quickly respond to the looming food security situation.
The support from DFID will benefit 97,000 people in the most vulnerable districts of the country through WFP’s Lean Season Assistance programme. WFP will also pilot the programme in the peri-urban area of Epworth, Harare, and will provide assistance to an additional 19,000 people.
The partnership between WFP and UNDP is good example of the nexus between humanitarian and development support in Zimbabwe.
This partnership aligns to the global commitment made during the World Humanitarian Summit, as expressed by the UN Secretary General, to “bring the humanitarian and development spheres closer together from the very beginning of a crisis -- to support affected communities, address structural and economic impacts, and help prevent a new spiral of fragility and instability.”
Speaking at the ceremony, WFP’s Eddie Rowe welcomed the partnership saying, “this is a clear demonstration of synergies and complementarity…working together to address existing needs and their root causes.”
UNDP’s Georges van Montfort commended the partners for the flexibility in establishing the partnership. He added “this experience demonstrates the willingness to innovate and take risks in support of the people of Zimbabwe.”
To strengthen this response in the same districts, UNDP, together with DFID, the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe and the European Union are investing in preparing for future climate change eventualities through the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF).
At the same event, DFID also announced an additional £1 million to the ZRBF for the crisis modifier activated in response to the climate change induced dry spell.
More than 2.4 million rural ZImbabweans will face acute food insecurity at the peak of the current lean season(January - March 2019), according to the 2018 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment (ZimVAC) report by the Government of Zimbabwe.