In Zimbabwe, 2.2 million people may be in need of food

Women at a food distribution point during food shortages in Zimbabwe in 2011. Photo by Suzi Sainovski

An estimated 2.2 million people in rural Zimbabwe may need food assistance during the peak hunger period (January to March 2014) a report prepared by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) has shown.

The peak hunger period is immediately before communal farmers start harvesting their crop.

This is the highest number of people who may need food assistance since 2009.

World Vision Zimbabwe is implementing three different WFP food assistance programmes in six affected districts of the country.

World Vision Zimbabwe has submitted a proposal to WFP and has been awarded five districts to implement the Seasonal Targeted Assistance which is in response to the ZIMVAC assessment. Seasonal Targeted Assistance helps food insecure households and will be implemented by World Vision in five districts.

Additionally, World Vision has continued to implement the Nutritional Support for Anti-Retroviral Treatment (NSART) in three districts. NSART programme supports malnourished HIV/AIDS and TB patients and their households; pregnant and nursing mothers; and children under five years of age.

World Vision is implementing the Productive Asset Creation in 6 districts.

In total, World Vision is implementing the three WFP programmes in six districts. Some of the programmes overlap and are implemented in the same district simultaneously.

Some rural districts in Zimbabwe are food insecure mainly because of intermittent rains in the last season. The rains came too late and went too early leaving crops moisture stressed.

Last season’s drought has also seen an upward movement in the price of grain which is estimated to have gone up by as much as 15%.

The upward movement in the price of grain puts further pressure on many households especially those not receiving food assistance.