Zimbabwe: Humanitarian update

1 Jun 2011

A woman stands outside of her temporary home and dried up maize crop in Epworth, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Like thousands of other Zimbabweans her family has been forced to move to Epworth and build a temporary home as ongoing economic problems throughout Zimbabwe mean they no longer have a means of income to support themselves. Credit: IRIN/Kate Holt
The humanitarian community in Zimbabwe is paying close attention to a number of key concerns, including cholera and malaria outbreaks, a shortage of funding, and food shortages.

The humanitarian community in Zimbabwe is paying close attention to a number of key concerns, including cholera and malaria outbreaks, a shortage of funding, and food shortages.

Addressing cholera and malaria outbreaks is a high priority for humanitarian partners. By the end of April 2011, a total of 746 cholera cases had been recorded and 25 people had died from the disease since January this year. More than 90,000 malaria cases and 140 deaths have been reported from early April to April 24 2011.

In response to the cholera outbreak water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health partners are implementing community health promotion programmes. Work to increase awareness raising activities and disinfection activities at the local and district level continues.

Cholera and malaria outbreaks have affected the country on a large scale mainly due to the break down of the country’s health system, dilapidation of the water supply infrastructure, and of sanitary facilities. Rebuilding the health system and basic facilities requires further financial support.

The Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) is the main humanitarian funding mechanism for the country. At this moment, the CAP for Zimbabwe is the least funded globally, with only 14.6% - or US$ 60 million - of the total $415, 275, 740 needed met at the end of April. The lack of funding could undermine progress made so far and potentially reverse development gains made over the past three years.

The Safety Net (SN) programme led by World Food Programme (WFP) currently faces a shortage of $20 million for the period from May to October 2011. This will increase food insecurity in the country. Consequently, ration cuts were introduced in April 2011 and are still in effect. Following a dry spell experience in February and March 2011 and the impact on crops, WFP and partners are continuing to monitor the food security situation.

More>> OCHA Zimbabwe website

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