Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe 2010
The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is still fragile due to the prevailing degradation of infrastructure in the basic sectors of health, water and sanitation, and food security. The country also faces continuing underlying economic and political challenges. As a result, Zimbabwe remains at a crossroads. While some early recovery activities are ongoing as part of humanitarian actions, the lack of major funding for recovery and development remains one of the key hindrances to moving the country out of a situation of generalized humanitarian need. Following the results of recent needs assessments, the Mid-Year Review (MYR) exercise identified minor increases in requirements for most clusters. However, in keeping with the country’s underlying vulnerabilities, there are more significant increases in requirements for the Health, Food and Agriculture clusters.
The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe requires a different approach than most crises. Small emergencies continue to develop into major crises requiring relief assistance, due to the unaddressed structural degradation in the basic sectors. With strong infrastructure in place, and with the right level and mix of support, Zimbabwe would have the capacity to rebound faster than most countries in crises. Recent examples prove the benefits of such a comprehensive approach. The rehabilitation of rural and urban water supply infrastructure as part of the fight against communicable diseases such as cholera and typhoid prevented a repeat in 2010 of the unprecedented cholera outbreak of 2008/2009. The root causes of the large-scale measles outbreak that started in September 2009 have been addressed through a nationwide measles vaccination campaign, an activity that would normally not fall under the umbrella of humanitarian assistance. The Government is exploring further early recovery opportunities through projects that could potentially provide more sustainable assistance and reduce aid dependence through programmes such as community work and food-for-assets.
The harvest for the 2009/10 agricultural season has just finished. Recent crop assessments have estimated that despite some extended periods of drought in parts of the country, food production has slightly increased vis-à-vis 2008/9. Timely agricultural inputs and extension support provided by humanitarian partners during the 2009/10 planting season played a major role in further reducing food insecurity levels. Despite this, food insecurity remains. Rates of chronic and acute malnutrition stand at 35% and 2.4% respectively, re-emphasizing the need to concentrate on reversing these trends while maintaining steady emphasis on care for acutely malnourished children. The joint needs assessment on internally displaced people (IDPs) undertaken in September 2009 identified key areas for future collaboration between the humanitarian community and the Government. Discussions are ongoing on a countrywide IDP profiling exercise to establish the scope of the internally displaced population and to agree on durable solutions.
Humanitarian access has improved and a large number of comprehensive assessments have been conducted since mid-2009. These assessments provide the humanitarian community with more data to analyse and use for planning. The capacity of civil society organizations and government structures at national and local level has improved. There has also been a notable increase in cooperation between the Government and the humanitarian community, and between international and national humanitarian partners. Key priorities for the remainder of 2010 will be improving food security levels, prevention of and rapid response to disease outbreaks, protection-related issues and response to natural disasters. All activities will be undertaken while ensuring humanitarian and Government priorities remain complementary in all sectors. In parallel, efforts should be made to address the root causes of resurging humanitarian needs through basic sector restoration and livelihood programmes.
After reviewing the outcomes of recent needs assessments, the MYR exercise identified only minor increases in requirements for most clusters. The main increase is accounted for by the extension of food aid activities until the end of 2010 (whereas originally the requirements covered activities up to April 2010), and increased health needs. Revised requirements thus amount to US$ 478,399,290. This is an increase of some $100 million (or 20%) over the original requirements.