WFP Zimbabwe Country Brief, December 2021

In Numbers

10,050 mt of food assistance distributed

USD 2.94m cash-based transfers made

USD 71m next six months (January – June 2022) net funding requirements

838,996 people assisted In December 2021

Operational Updates

• WFP informed stakeholders and participants under the Urban Social Assistance and Resilience Building programme about the downscaling of this initiative due to insufficient funding. Starting in January 2022, WFP will only reach 49,000 (in Harare South, Masvingo Urban and Chiredzi) out of the 326,000 vulnerable city dwellers that benefitted from cash transfers throughout 2021, with an entitlement of 10 instead of 12 dollars. WFP and cooperating partners communicated these changes to beneficiaries through various mediums including radio, visual posters, short message services (sms), written signage, and verbally through community meetings and established community feedback mechanisms.

Some of the families that will no longer receive cash support will be prioritized under longer term resiliencebuilding activities: WFP is expanding its coverage from 30,000 to 180,000 people, with the aim of contributing to more sustainable solutions for people in cities. Cash and resilience-building activities are complementary to moving beyond a cycle of dependence, as transfers provide a lifeline to meet short term needs and livelihood options help boost the local economy and find sustainable longer-term solutions.

• The lean season response scaled up to target 542,000 people across 12 districts in December. However, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and delays in distributions during the rainy season, WFP provided double rations (covering December and January cycles) across 9 districts, thus reaching 625,200 people. WFP will further increase its coverage to 649,000 people every month, across 12 rural districts, until March.

• To manage climate-related risks, WFP enhances linkages between risk reduction (asset creation and improved agricultural practices), risk transfer (access to insurance to farmers), risk reserves (livelihoods diversification) and prudent risk taking (saving and lending schemes).

Preliminary findings of the decentralized evaluation report covering 2018-2021 show that participatory planning ensured that actions were relevant to participants’ context and needs. The provision of crop insurance is acknowledged as an appropriate way of mitigating climatic risks, while village savings and loan groups are relevant for enabling a largely unbanked population to save and take loans. Mechanization is identified as a way to reduce resistance to adopting conservation agriculture techniques. WFP and its partners will integrate recommendations from this study in their planning.

• Standard Precipitation Indices (SPIs) computed from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) detected the probability of a mildto-moderate drought in Mudzi early 2022. As a result, the Forecast-based Financing (FbF) Standard Operating Procedure for Mudzi district was activated in September to implement anticipatory actions to avoid negative coping strategies. To provide safe and adequate water for communities and livestock, WFP installed seven boreholes in December. The implementation of other anticipatory actions on dissemination of relevant, timely and simple climate information to assist farmers in better decision-making is underway, in collaboration with the Meteorological Services Department. FbF is a mechanism whereby early preparedness and community level actions are pre-planned based on credible forecasts and are implemented before the disaster strikes.

Source: World Food Programme

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