- The country-wide cholera outbreak and spike in food-insecurity during the 2008/09 lean season aggravated an already difficult socio-economic environment of hyper-inflation and collapsed basic services.
- An estimated six million people have no access to water and sanitation.
- 600,000 communal farmers required key agricultural inputs for the 2009/2010 planting season.
- 1.3 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, including 133,000 children under the age of 14 years.
- There are 1.5 million orphaned and vulnerable children, including over 100,000 child-headed households.
- The formation of the Inclusive Government in February 2009 and resultant socio-economic developments have presented opportunities for improvement through the re-establishment of basic social services and increased collaboration with national authorities on humanitarian priorities.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a gradual shift from humanitarian crisis to recovery following political changes that have positively impacted socio-economic conditions. However, considerable humanitarian needs remain and the impact of erosion of livelihoods will continue to be felt throughout 2010. OCHA is working closely with humanitarian partners to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable populations are met, especially in the basic sectors of health, education, water and sanitation and food security.
OCHA is instrumental in bringing together humanitarian partners to better analyze humanitarian needs and coordinate humanitarian action. The international community continues to support humanitarian and “humanitarian plus” activities, while increasing their engagement on recovery and development planning. The Short Term Emergency Recovery Plan (STERP) developed by the Inclusive Government has the potential to considerably improve the humanitarian situation if implemented fully, and in close cooperation with the humanitarian community. While the country moves towards a transition to recovery, OCHA will play an important role in ensuring strong coordination, resource mobilization, advocacy and IM related to targeted humanitarian and “humanitarian plus” assistance.
In 2010 OCHA will prioritize the following support to the HC and the humanitarian community:
- Maintain an overview of the humanitarian situation and support the HC in ensuring that coordination mechanisms continue to be strengthened in line with the evolving context in the country.
- Support a well-functioning HCT and clusters at national level and increase engagement with the provincial coordination structures.
- Ensure that humanitarian preparedness and response is underpinned by integrated analysis and IM, and promote joint assessments.
- Facilitate effective resource mobilization based on needs, gaps and opportunities.
- Advocate and raise awareness on the humanitarian needs, gaps and challenges.
- Ensure that early warning mechanisms are in place, and contingency plans are updated.
- Maintain a leading role in facilitating, on behalf of the HC, the multi-sectoral needs assessment missions to identify priority needs and propose appropriate responses.
- Ensure enhanced engagement and partnership with counterparts in the Inclusive Government and donors in support of humanitarian action.
In relation to Objective 1.2 (relationships strengthened with a wider group of operational partners, and other relevant actors to advance humanitarian action) OCHA will enhance engagement and partnership with counterparts in the government, NGOs, regional bodies and donors in support of humanitarian action. This is required to allow for efficient response and transparent coordination with participation of all key stakeholders.
In relation to Objective 1.4, in de-linking the humanitarian from the political for improved response, OCHA will ensure response planning is based on rigorous and joint situation analysis. With increased IM capacities, the office will focus on tailoring more user-oriented information products to better support inclusive assessment, planning and needs-based response. OCHA will also work toward a more effective humanitarian response through Objective 2.4 (a more systematic coordination of the common humanitarian programme cycle). With the roll-out of the cluster approach in 2008, the improvement of the ERF and gradually more inclusive CAP process, there is increased engagement in the development of the CHAP.
OCHA will help ensure that effective coordination and response mechanisms support the HCT and clusters, at national and provincial level, for joint assessments and analysis, resource mobilization and allocation, as well as monitoring and evaluation.