JOINT INTRODUCTION BY THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING ANDTHE UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR
Zimbabwe is facing a multitude of humanitarian challenges as a result of climate and economic shocks. The impact of 2018/2019 drought combined with continuing macroeconomic challenges have resulted in high-level of food insecurity. The 2018/2019 Second Round Crops and Livelihood Assessment found the food gap to be over 900,000 MT, with many districts having less than three-month supply of maize. The 2019 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) Rural Livelihoods Assessment estimates that 5.5 million people in the rural areas are food insecure. Of this population, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis points to 3.58 million people – or 38 per cent of the rural population – projected to be in need of urgent humanitarian action between the period October to December 2019. The Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare estimates that 2.2 million people in urban areas are food insecure. Recognizing that the urban communities are most market reliant and susceptible to affordability issues, an urban vulnerability assessment is ongoing whose results will complement the available data. Urban humanitarian actions will be further informed by the findings and recommendations of the urban vulnerability assessment.
The survivors of Cyclone Idai that struck four Provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands and Mashonaland East in March 2019 continue to require humanitarian assistance, particularly the internally displaced persons in temporary camps and living with host families. Recovery and resilience building needs of the cyclone-affected communities have been identified through the Zimbabwe Rapid Impact and Needs Assessment (RINA) and other assessments and are being addressed including through support from the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The Zimbabwe Recovery and Resilience Framework (ZRRF) is being developed by the Government with technical support from the World Bank, UN and EU for multi-sectoral and sustainable recovery of the cyclone-affected communities. In operationalizing the ZRRF, ensuring linkages between humanitarian and recovery/ resilience building efforts would be critically important.
The Government, recognizing the impact of the drought and gravity of the situation, plans to declare a state of disaster. Efforts are also ongoing to address the macro-economic challenges including the liquidity crisis. The floating of the currency in February 2019 and the introduction of the new Zimbabwe Dollar as the sole currency for legal tender in July 2019 are part of the longer-term economic reform efforts to stabilize the economy. In the short-term, however, the reform and the necessary austerity measures are negatively affecting the household economies, with disproportionate negative impact on the poorest and the most vulnerable, who are having to resort to negative coping mechanisms. It is critical therefore to support these vulnerable households along with those directly affected by the drought.
We are cognizant that humanitarian assistance is not a longterm solution to the socio-economic challenges in Zimbabwe. Intensive effort is required to tackle the root causes of the rising humanitarian needs, the Government with the UN support is committed to continue to undertake the necessary reform efforts as outlined in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme. However, while efforts are being taken to address these extremely complex sets of challenges, there is a moral obligation and an urgency for the international community to lend a hand for life-saving support to those most in need.
We are thankful to the development and humanitarian partners for the generous support to date. Under the Revised Flash Appeal (January to June 2019), the partners contributed over $133 million or 45.5 per cent of the humanitarian needs prioritized. As we launch this revised Humanitarian Appeal (July 2019 to April 2020), targeting 3.7 million people and amounting to $464 million, we would like to stress: implementation is key. With the Government in the lead, we are committed to a people-centred, integrated, sustainable and well-coordinated humanitarian action with clear linkages to recovery and resilience building efforts.
The Humanitarian Appeal is prioritized and principled. We are confident that the activities planned are those that are most urgently needed and will deliver immediate relief to the most vulnerable. Built-in programme methodology is intended to ensure value-for-money, with full accountability to the intended beneficiaries. Most importantly, the Government and humanitarian partners are committed to ensuring that the humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality, independence and humanity are respected in implementing the activities in the Humanitarian Appeal.
The Government of Zimbabwe and the UN are committed to further strengthening our partnership for an effective and efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance under our overall promise to Leave No One Behind. We appeal for the international community’s continued generous support.