Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe 2009

29 May 2009

The alarming degradation of Zimbabwe’s economy and rise in social vulnerability continued in 2008.  A protracted election period, from March through August, essentially put the country on hold for six months, during which election violence and government restrictions halted most humanitarian field activities.  Half a year of critical humanitarian service delivery in support of food security, clean water, health, and education services was lost, and the impact of this is likely to continue into 2009.  The chances are good that further deterioration of the humanitarian situation can be averted if, following the initial political agreement reached between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Population Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change in September, a government of unity can be created.  The main challenge now is to deal with the increasingly urgent humanitarian needs of millions of vulnerable Zimbabweans. 

A third consecutive failed agricultural season has further increased dependence on food, as well as non-food, assistance; 5.1 million Zimbabweans are projected to depend on food aid by the first quarter of 2009.  Action is urgently required to save household agricultural production in 2009, and mitigate the impacts of the failed season in 2008.  The infrastructure for delivering basic social services is seriously affected, resulting in unprecedented levels of disease incidence and prevalence throughout the country.  The education sector is equally affected.  High vulnerability levels, coupled with one of the world’s highest HIV infection rates of 15.6%, deepen the population’s vulnerability.  World record hyperinflation and a collapsing banking system pose major challenges to humanitarian operations, with most agencies affected by the lack of cash and inability to access foreign currency. 

Humanitarian agencies are committed to supporting the Government to mitigate the impact of a multidimensional crisis affecting rural and urban areas, with priority geographic areas in 2009 likely to include Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South, and Midlands.  This will require a combination of well-targeted emergency response and early recovery activities as the foundation for a successful long-term recovery in Zimbabwe.  In support of effective response, the cluster approach was adopted in March 2008 covering five priority sectors; agriculture, emergency telecommunications, health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene.  Early recovery, education and protection working groups are expected to be formalised into clusters in 2009.  HIV focal points for each cluster will ensure mainstreaming of HIV in emergency preparations and management.

The Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) 2009 predominantly targets emergency response.  It also includes support for communities requiring emergency early recovery programmes to strengthen coping mechanisms and sustainable livelihoods.  The following priorities to guide strategic planning in 2009 have been identified:

  • saveand prevent the loss of lives;
  • assistdisplacedpopulations, restore livelihoods and prevent depletion of productive assets;
  • establisha broad partnership among the humanitarian community and engage with all stakeholders, including the Government.

Although the 2008 CAP was 75% funded, support to development sectors and activities in Zimbabwe has traditionally been poor.  Consequently, the 2008 CAP was either under-funded or needs in critical areas were downplayed due to their developmental nature.[RS1]   Considering that the CAP remains one of the few funding frameworks for donor engagement in Zimbabwe, and despite the prevailing political uncertainty, it will require more donor support to essential sectors that were critically under-funded in 2008, including emergency agriculture and education, health, water and sanitation, assistance to victims of politically motivated violence, and sustainable return and reconciliation in affected communities.  Any delay in addressing these needs will only result in a greater humanitarian caseload.

The CAP 2009 may be revised as soon as conditions are favourable to a greater response.  Humanitarian response planning for Zimbabwe is done in coordination with multiple stakeholder efforts around stabilisation and recovery.  To that end, the 2009 CAP appeals to all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to support humanitarian assistance, including unhindered humanitarian access to vulnerable people.  Regional support is also required to stabilise the current trends of large-scale migration from Zimbabwe to neighbouring countries; such stabilisation will ultimately be to their benefit. 

To achieve these priorities a total of 35 appealing agencies, including UN agencies, inter-governmental organisations, international and national NGOs, and community and faith-based organisations, are requesting an amount US$[1]550 million to implement programmes and projects as part of the CAP 2009.


[1]  All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@reliefweb.int), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2009 web page.


 [RS1]This is unclear – what are they trying to say ? 

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29 May 2009

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