Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Highlights

  • As of 3 December, 10,424 COVID-19 cases and 280 deaths were confirmed; 81 per cent of cases were in the provinces of Harare, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Manicaland.
  • About 3.4 million people in rural areas are projected to face crisis or emergency food insecurity at the peak of the lean season (January to March 2021).
  • An estimated 74,267 children under age 5 are affected by global acute malnutrition, including at least 38,425 of them with severe acute malnutrition.
  • Access and utilization of essential health services declined in April-October 2020 compared to same period in 2019.
Zimbabwe: IOM
IOM staff conducts a COVID-19 temperature screening. ©IOM

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Key Figures

7M
people in need
5.6M
people targeted
47
partners operational

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Funding

$800.8M
Required
$208.9M
Received
26%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Wouter De Cuyper

Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Zimbabwe

Guiomar Pau Sole

Head of Communications & Information Management, Regional Office for Southern & Eastern Africa

Zimbabwe

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

Following relatively good rains in the 2019/2020 season, and a major scale-up in food assistance, there has been a reduction in severe food insecurity in 2020 compared to 2019. However, despite relatively good rains, nearly 3.4 million people in rural areas are projected to face Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 or above) food insecurity at the peak of the 2020/2021 lean season (January-March) and 2.3 million people in urban communities are estimated to be food insecure in 2021, according to the the latest Integrated Phase Classification (IPC). According to the 2020 rural ZimVAC assessment, households saw an average 51.5 per cent reduction in income compared to 2019, including due to COVID-19, while the IPC analysis highlights that an estimated 1.2 million people currently in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) would be at least one phase worse were it not for the assistance they are receiving.

Zimbabwe saw a sharp increase in protection concerns during the COVID-19 lockdown, including gender-based violence. From January to September 2020, 5,507 GBV cases were reported through the National GBV Hotline, a 200 per cent increase compared with the same timeframe in 2019, when 1,930 GBV cases were reported through the Hotline. Children have been uniquely impacted by the combination of climatic shocks, economic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 4.6 million children in Zimbabwe lost access to education and the protective environment provided in schools for over six months due to the pandemic, while over 1.7 million school children lost access to school feeding programmes. The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe has caused a decrease in quality dietary habits in recent years which is negatively affecting children’s nutrition, while nutrition referral mechanisms have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Distressed households have reported increased use of negative coping mechanisms including child labor, early marriage and transactional sex, while economic challenges are creating barriers for children’s return to education, especially for girls.

As of 3 December 2020, Zimbabwe had a cumulative total of 10,424 COVID-19 cases, 8,754 recoveries and 280 deaths. Harare, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Manicaland provinces account for 81.1 per cent of all confirmed cases in Zimbabwe. Children of school going age (5-19 years) account for 7.6 per cent of all reported cases. Access and utilization of essential health services including preventive, curative and rehabilitation services across the country, declined in the period from April to October 20202, compared to the same period in 2019: outpatient consultation declined by 49 per cent, attendance of pregnant women at the fourth antenatal visit declined by 55 per cent, and the number of people tested for HIV decreased with 45 per cent.

A total of 32,047 migrants returned to Zimbabwe from neighboring countries as of 26 November, with the large majority of returnees arriving through the three points of entry of Beitbridge border post, Plumtree and Harare International airport. The number of returnees is expected to continue to increase with the reopening of borders in December.

The 2020 Zimbabwe Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), launched on 2 April 2020, indicates that 7 million people in urban and rural areas were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across Zimbabwe. The United Nations and humanitarian partners revised the HRP in July to update the response to the COVID-19 outbreak integrating a multisectoral migrant response and reprioritizing humanitarian cluster responses. The updated COVID-19 Addendum requires US$85 million to respond to the immediate public health crisis and the secondary impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable people, in addition to the $715 million required in the HRP.

In addition to the commitments to the HRP recorded above through the Financial Tracking System (FTS), a number of funding pledges are in the process of being recorded, including $52.9 from the United Kingdom and $12.7 million from the United States.

On 1 December, the 2021 Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) was launched including Zimbabwe. The 2021 Zimbabwe HRP is being drafted in consultation with humanitarian and government partners.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Camp Coordination and Camp Management / Shelter and NFIs

35,166
displaced pple in camps & host communities

Needs

  • More than 30,000 people remain displaced in camps and host communities. Out of the total number of internally displaced people (IDP), 198 Cyclone Idai-affected households (909 people) are living in four camps, where living conditions are exposing them to serious protection and health risks.

  • Tent conditions that have deteriorated with some worn out, exposing IDPs to health risk. Food availability and accessibility remains a major challenge across the camps, as well as health services and with COVID-19 as IDPs movement restrictions, livelihood activities have been seriously affected reliable sources of revenue.

  • There is an urgent need to support IDPs with livelihood activities, to be able to have a sustainable income.

  • Water access is a major concern since WASH facilities are deteriorating in the camps and surrounding communities, and 135 boreholes and 25 dip tanks were reported affected, compromising accessibility to water for several communities.

  • Protection issues are on the raise, there is a need to assist with Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) as well as to review the welfare of IDPs.

  • The relocation strategy is in progress, but there are some concerns about not meeting the deadline before the rainy season compromising the safety of IDPs.

  • There is a need for advocacy with Government to strengthen community-based reporting structures/referral mechanisms to ensure migrants returning to IDPs communities are screened and not exposing already vulnerable people.

  • There is a need to ensure PPE available in the camps as the IDPs are also at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their living environment.

Response

  • Leading the Shelter/CCCM cluster, IOM has been advocating for durable solutions for displaced populations to ensure that basic needs of IDPs and host communities are addressed and included in the COVID-19 national response plan.

  • IOM is assisting already vulnerable communities and displaced populations from protracted crisis through a new shelter intervention that will assist IDPs in camps and host communities by ensuring appropriate housing space and decongestion of displacement sites with poor living conditions, to avoid the spread of the virus and provide a dignified way of living after over one year of displacement. The shelter intervention is targeting 674 displaced households in camps and host communities (224 displaced households in the four camps, 250 households in Chimanimani, and 200 households in Chipingue).

  • Beneficiaries were sensitized on their roles and the need to prepare the appropriate sites for the construction of shelters. Among the beneficiaries, local builders were also identified in respective communities and a training was conducted to ensure shelter standards are met. With the new land at the relocation site in Vumba being ready to start construction, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works is providing tents that will house builders/carpenters from the IDP camps at the construction site for the duration of transitional shelter construction works .

  • IOM is ensuring regular coordination meetings between IDP committees and Government authorities, so IDPs can start constructing and preparing livelihood activities. The operationalization of the relocation plan is ongoing, with IOM supporting the Government to start constructions and ensure the relocation of IDPs before the next rainy season.

  • With shelter materials on site and allocated to beneficiaries according to the shelter disposition in the area, constructions are planned in December 2020 before the rainy season to provide a durable solution to the affected population and release tension on the host communities.

  • DRR activities are ongoing through various partners in the Cyclone Idai affected areas to ensure Emergence Response Plans are updated and mechanisms are in place to build back safer and ensure preparedness for future shocks.

  • IOM presence in the camps is constant, ensuring coordination meetings, feedback mechanism and accountability to affected population.

  • Family Aids Caring Trust (FACT) under the Humanitarian Assistance to Cyclone Survivors Project distributed food and non-food items (NFI) to IDPs in the four camps and will sustain food distributions until January 2021. They will continue to support the IDPs even after they have moved to the new relocation site.

Gaps

  • There is an urgent need to ensure IDPs have constant access to medical services and health facilities, and to increase mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) tailored for COVID-19 distress for IDPs and affected communities.

  • In all IDP camps there is a need to work on modalities of improving security systems in the camps to curb thefts and vandalism.

  • The impact of COVID-19 has increased the vulnerability of IDPs in camps and some women and girls are resorting to negative coping mechanisms resulting in an increase of protection issues, there is a need to reinforced GBV and PSEA awareness and strengthen community health workers capacity to respond to the affected population.

  • Reinforced surveillance needs to be strengthened through community leaders. There is need for more COVID-19 awareness campaigns in the camps to ensure communities are educated on health and preventive measures, particularly since there are now COVID-19 positive cases within the camps and surrounding communities are receiving migrants’ returnees, and the need to cope with the socio-economic impact and the loss of livelihoods resulting in increased cross border trading activities.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Education

853K
children targeted
359,764
people reached under COVID-19 response

Needs

  • The education system in Zimbabwe was already stretched before the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of multiple crises, including the impact of Cyclone Idai in 2019, the economic crisis coupled with hyperinflation and the ongoing drought. Before the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, estimates by the Education Cluster were that out of the 3.4 million children between 3 and 12 years old, at least 1.2 million (35 per cent), would need emergency and specialized education services in 2020. This included more than 853,000 children in acute need, such as: children not enrolled in school; orphans and other vulnerable children (OCV), including children with disabilities and children living with HIV; and those in need of school feeding.

  • The combined effect of the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching implications for the demand and supply of education services. While school closures have disrupted the education of more than 4.6 million children, with adverse impacts on their protection and well-being, the combination of teacher mass action and spike in COVID-19 infections are hitting hard on children that have lost so much learning ground but also who are trying to get back to school.

  • Prolonged school closures have had major negative effects on children’s learning, physical, social and mental health and well-being threatening hard-won educational achievements for years to come. Prolonged school closures will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and inequalities among children, especially girls, children with disabilities, those in rural areas, orphans and vulnerable children, as well as those from poor households and fragile families. Whereas learners were looking to schools reopening, they continue to face frustrations due to teacher absence from schools.

  • After successfully conducting June national examinations for Form 4 and Form 6 from 30 June to 23 July, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) recently implemented phase 3 reopening with the expectation of commencing final examinations on 1 December 2020. However, the dual risk of teacher absence and spike in infections cast doubts on the extent to which this will be successfully accomplished.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted both the health and economic systems. Schools, which traditionally rely on user fees to fund their daily operations face a dire time with parents’ inability to pay school fees because of the economic hardships they are facing, weakening their efforts to provide COVID-19 materials needed in the schools.

Response

  • As of the end of September 2020, 139,606 people have benefited from various activities implemented by the cluster partners as part of the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), while 846,181 people have benefited from COVID-19 related activities linked to the overall Zimbabwe Education Sector Preparedness and Response Strategy and the HRP COVID-19 addendum for the period of March to September 2020. In addition, the following activities are under implementation and are duly supported by various Education in Emergencies (EiE) partners across the country:

    • A cumulative of radio lessons have been developed with a further 23 radio lessons to be developed during week ending on 27 November 2020.

    • Broadcasting of lessons (ECD to Grade 7) is in week 22 and a total of 988 radio lessons have been broadcasted. Meanwhile, The procurement of 3,000 radio sets for marginalized communities is still underway.

  • With all school levels having re-opened for classes, there has been a reported steady increase in the number of learners and teachers reporting back to school.

  • UNICEF has provided $3,000 each to about 657 schools to support water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) rehabilitation activities in schools.

  • The cluster has reached 495 adolescent girls through dissemination of COVID-19 bulk messages aimed at enhancing safety and protection of learners enrolled under “SAGE” NFE education programme being implemented across 11 districts.

  • As part of 2020 HRP, six district-level Training of Trainers workshops were conducted to strengthen safeguarding among 294 community volunteers facilitating “SAGE” NFE programme in six districts namely: Bulilima, Imbizo, Khami, Mutare Rural, Mutasa and Reigate.

  • On refugee response, cluster partners distributed 500 and 300 single student desks and chairs to the primary and secondary schools, respectively, in Tongogara Refugee Camp to help promote social distancing as an infection control measure against COVID-19.

  • One cluster partner has produced 11,000 washable cloth face masks as part of COVID-19 response messaging which were distributed to vulnerable school children and School Health Coordinators.

  • The Cluster partners have reached 3,765 orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) virtually with psychosocial support facilitated by CBT therapists. Additional support provided include distribution of 2,698 adolescent girls and young women with mensural hygiene messages and provided 11,202 OVCs with textbooks in the nine districts of Bulawayo, Matobo, Lupane, Insiza, Nkayi, Gweru, Harare, Guruve and Mazowe.

Gaps

  • Inadequate funding to address the educational and protection needs induced by COVID-19: Despite numerous efforts, funding remains a challenge in the fight against COVID-19. There are still significant funding gaps in the provision of adequate water, soap and thermometers to enhance IPC measures in schools, teaching and learning materials to ensure the continuous learning and support the recently reopened schools. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases, coupled with reported outbreaks in some schools shows that increased calls for support are a lot more pronounced than before.

  • Teacher Mass Action: Since the announcement of the reopening of schools, teachers’ unions have called for mass strikes citing incapacitation. This mass action has the overall impact of not only weakening the learning processes but also the response to COVID-19 of children who are returning to school.

  • Unmet Needs for marginalized learners: While the Cluster has made significant progress in promoting continuous access to education, through the provision of materials and the development of radio lessons, the Cluster has not been able to meet the learning needs of all children, especially children with disabilities, those living in the most remote areas without access to radio signals and children from poor households. These children continue to have unmet learning needs in part because of shortages of teaching and learning materials at home. To add to the challenge, the worsening food insecurity in most poor households represents a significant challenge, which has the potential to contribute to dropping out school.

  • Macro-economic constraints: Zimbabwe’s fragile economy represents the greatest challenge in the fight against COVID-19. Economic decline has exacerbated the delivery of critical services such as health and the provision of water, which are critical ensuring the prevention of COVID-19. The rapidly depreciating local currency is forcing service providers to increase their prices, with negative implications for preparedness efforts as goods and services are rising each week. Poor public service delivery, and especially the shortage of medical personnel, continues to undermine the confidence of parents in efforts to reopen schools. While most parents are unable to buy learning materials to support learners at home or pay fees to support preparations for the reopening schools, schools face an increased financial burden to implement all the recommended measures to mitigate against the spread of the disease. Similarly, partners also face financial resource constraints to respond to the urgent and emergent

  • The relegation of education to a secondary national COVID-19 priority: Zimbabwe has prioritized critical needs such as health, water and sanitation, above all other considerations. The beliefs that education is not life-saving, that schools are for academics, which can be postponed, has left many children vulnerable, unprotected and exposed to risks like family violence and exploitation. To add to the challenge, fiscal constraints and resource challenges mean that the education of children at home is not receiving adequate national resources. This represents a great constraint in response efforts, to detriment of the educational needs of children.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Food Security

4.6M
people targeted
1.4M
people received assistance in October

Needs

  • According to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, a total of 6 million people were in urgent need of food assistance across Zimbabwe both in rural and urban areas. In addition, 1.5 million small holder farmers were in need of season- sensitive emergency crop and livestock input assistance.

  • The increased rural and urban caseload due to COVID-19 of 200,000 is bringing the total target to 4.6 million people, according to the HRP COVID-19 Addendum.

  • COVID-19 containment measures, in particular lockdowns, have severe socio-economic consequences. It is expected that the drastic loss of livelihoods will trigger a sharp increase in food insecurity across the country. WFP internal analysis forecasted that food insecure people would rise to 3.3 million from 2.2 million in urban areas, and to 5.3 million from 3.7 million in rural areas from October to December 2020.

  • According to the WFP September food security update, prices of basic food commodities in Zimbabwean dollars (ZWL) terms continued their upward trend, but it has stabilized to around 10 per cent monthly increase in comparison to over 30 per cent reported before June 2020. The relative stable price trends in ZWL terms is in line with stabilized foreign exchange rates. The annual inflation declined for a third consecutive month: from 838 per cent in July to 761 per cent in August and was pegged at 659 in September 2020. This downward trend is also reflected in food inflation which decreased from 977 per cent in July to 761 per cent in August and pegged at 724 per cent in September 2020.

  • The IPC analysis for the rural areas was conducted from 12 – 16 October. The indication is a reduction in the numbers of acutely food-insecure people facing crisis or worse (IPC Phases 3 or above) conditions during October to December 2020 and January to March 2021, when compared to the previous analysis. The improvement is highly related to currently on-going and planned large-scale humanitarian food assistance. The food insecurity is primarily due to shocks and hazards experienced in the country such as drought, reduced livelihood opportunities due to restrictions linked to COVID-19, pests and diseases, and high food prices.

  • The Ministry of Agriculture stated that an estimated 44,399 hectares has been planted for winter wheat with expected yield 100,000 metric tons. Most of the wheat crop is reported to be between the tiller formation and booting stages. The wheat condition is fair to good across all provinces.

  • Livestock condition across most areas in the country is ranging from fair to poor due to shortage of grazing and water. Over 350,000 head of cattle in Masvingo province are affected. Figures from other areas are being compiled. There is need assist farmers with supplementary feeds to save their animals from drought related deaths .

  • According to the Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum, there are higher chances for normal to above normal rainfall during the October - December 2020 period and normal to above normal rainfall during January to March 2021 .

  • National seed availability estimates for the coming 2020-21 agricultural season indicate approximately 40,000 metric tons of maize seed will be available on the seed market. This is adequate to cover the national production target of 1,500,000 hectares under maize. Seed deficits are estimated for soya beans, sugar beans, pearl millet and finger millet. The concern is seed availability at household level especially farmers’ capacity to access seeds from the market given high prices and eroded incomes. The country has suffered two consecutive poor seasons, household seed stocks are either depleted or very low.

  • Another area of concern is availability of fertilizer given the forecast of normal to above rains. This is also heightened by the shortage of foreign currency.

Response

  • In September, the FSL Cluster partners reported providing in-kind food assistance, vouchers or cash (USD) to 1,060,000 people in both rural and urban zones. Further, 224,000 people received agricultural and livelihood support. In October, partners reported providing in-kind food assistance, vouchers or cash (USD) to 1,400,000 people in both rural and urban zones, with further 293,000 people receiving agricultural and livelihood support.

  • In September, WFP’s Rural Lean Season Assistance (LSA) programme was scaled up to over 1 million people, while in urban areas WFP scaled up its programme to target 292,000 people across 22 domains. In October, the LSA caseload was scaled up to 1,064,538 while in urban areas, WFP caseload reached 326,000.

  • The Government has started distributing inputs through the Presidential Input programme targeting 1.8 million vulnerable small holder farmers. The programme is using the Pfumvudza (conservation agriculture) approach as a mechanism for climate proofing agricultural production.

Gaps

  • According to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) (as of 20 November 2020), only $141 million of the $507 million (28 per cent) total requested budget for the revised FSL Cluster HRP 2020 was received.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Health

3M
people targeted
10,424
COVID-19 cases (as of 3 December)

Needs

  • As of 3 December 2020, Zimbabwe had cumulatively 10,424 confirmed cases, 8,754 recoveries and 280 deaths. Harare, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Manicaland provinces account for 81 per cent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe. Children of school going age (5-19 years) account for 7.6 per cent of all reported cases.

  • A declining access and utilization of essential services was reported earlier including preventive, curative and rehabilitation services across the country. Furthermore, outpatient consultation declined by 49 per cent in 2020 (April - October) compared to the same period in 2019. For maternal health services, attendance at the fourth antenatal visit declined by 55 per cent in 2020 (April-October) compared to the same period in 2019. On access to HIV services, there was a 45 per cent decrease of the number of people tested for HIV in 2020 (April-October) compared to the same period in 2019.

  • The proportion of doctors at duty stations in week 45 was 61 per cent (decrease from 63 per cent in week 44). In week 45, nurses on flexi-hours increased to 63 per cent from 46 per cent the previous week. There has been an increasing number of institutional deliveries, cesarean sections, major operations, and community deaths. PPE availability at health facility level remains very variable, ranging from 90 per cent in some locations to much less in others such as 12 per cent in Centenary district, Mutare City, Mashonaland Central province.

  • To address the COVID-19 resurgence, there is a need for risk communication and community engagement to increase awareness particularly with opening of borders and approaching festive season; increased vigilance about potential amplification and superspreading opportunities associated with crowding, increased travel, closed communities such as schools, barracks, prisons; enhanced capacity for surveillance, laboratory testing; maintain capacity for case management, infection prevention and control; and advocate for strict lockdown and enforcement measures as last resort.

  • For essential health services, priorities include: continued advocacy for health worker conditions of service and safety; in-depth review to address issues raised by MOHCC weekly monitoring reports; document lessons learned and scale up best practices in the delivery of essential health services; support ongoing preparations for COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

  • There is a need for enhanced preparedness for other health emergencies (outbreaks, floods) including: timely investigation of all suspect cases of epidemic-prone diseases; updated provincial and district emergency preparedness plans; and intensified surveillance, pre-positioning of emergency logistics and supplies.

Response

  • Major recent developments under the national COVID-19 response include:

  1. Enhanced risk communication efforts by Inter-Ministerial Task Force and stakeholders at all levels;

  2. Confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in nine educational institutions (high schools and universities) contributing to increased number of confirmed cases in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East;

  3. Joint MOPSE-MOHCC outbreak response efforts in affected schools and surrounding communities;

  4. Enhanced level of preparedness in all educational institutions in line with national SOPs;

  5. UNICEF and other partners providing masks, hand sanitizers to schools;

  6. Increased number of operational Rapid Response Teams in Bulawayo and Harare;

  7. Roll out of updated laboratory testing guidelines and logistical support for COVID-19 testing laboratories;

  8. Enhanced capacity-additional staff, IPC capacity, sample collection capacity at all land borders;

  9. Publication of Statutory Instrument (SI) 282 of 2020 (With effect from 1 December all ports of entry will be opened; Travelers with COVID-19 free certificate issued within previous 48 hours and who do not have signs, symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed entry into Zimbabwe);

  10. MOHCC, with support of National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) partners, is preparing for the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine when available.

  • Delivery of essential services was continued through:

  1. Health worker occupational health and safety with 658 front-line health workers infected with COVID-19, including on the job mentoring in IPC practices, and IPC quantification and monitoring at health facility level;

  2. Enhanced emergency preparedness, with six suspect typhoid cases; 8,783 diarrhoea cases; 584 dysentery cases; 16 anthrax cases; 3,797 influenza-like illness cases reported during the epidemiological week 42, including integrated intensified disease surveillance, pre-positioning of emergency logistics and supplies;

  3. A total of 54,407 people in Chegutu received free oral cholera vaccination. The five-day oral cholera vaccination campaign was conducted by the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) and Chegutu Rural District Council with support from UNICEF and WHO. The campaign also provided other routine immunization and nutritional services such as measles, polio and Vitamin A supplements.

Gaps

  • Preparedness of COVID-19 resurgence needs to be enhanced through the implementation of recommendations from intra-action review with scale-up identified best practices and local innovations, and for updated guidelines on quantification, use and monitoring of essential COVID-19 supplies (lab supplies, PPE, clinical equipment and supplies).

  • Enhanced preparedness for other health emergencies (outbreaks, floods) is needed through the updating of Provincial and district emergency preparedness plans, intensified surveillance, pre-positioning of emergency logistics and supplies.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Nutrition

606K
people targeted
1.7M
children screened by the end of September

Needs

  • According to the July 2020 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) rural assessment, global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence has increased from 3.6 per cent to 3.8 per cent (based on MUAC assessment).

  • The nutrition status of children in Zimbabwe has shown deterioration with the minimum acceptable diet in young children having gone down to a record low at 2.1 per cent, which was a decline from 6.9 per cent recorded in 2019 according to the latest ZimVAC assessment.

  • Nationally, there was a decrease in households consuming diets with acceptable dietary diversity. Matabeleland North (35 per cent) and Masvingo (27.5 per cent) had the highest proportion of households that were consuming diets with low dietary diversity.

  • According to the latest ZimVAC, at least 56.2 per cent of the rural households are food (cereal) insecure, whilst there was a significant drop in the proportion of women of childbearing age consuming minimum dietary diversity (43 per cent in 2019 to 19 per cent in 2020). Food insecure households were more susceptible to COVID-19 shocks as a result of reduced incomes brought about by the depressed economic activity. The report also shows low proportions of women of childbearing age consuming iron-rich food. Bulilima (3 per cent), Masvingo (5 per cent) and Bindura (5 per cent) had the least proportion of women consuming iron-rich foods.

  • The number of pellagra cases reported has continue to be higher than in the previous year. As per routine data, the number of pellagra cases was 195 in October, down from 342 in September 2020. A total of 2,007 pellagra cases were recorded between January and October 2020, compared to the 1,250 cases over the same period last year (DHIS2, Oct 2020). The numbers of pellagra cases are likely to continue to increase as food insecurity in the country deepens and household income for accessing diversified diets continues to be depleted by the impact of COVID-19 lockdown and economic crisis.

  • Completing its needs analysis for the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) the Nutrition Cluster estimates that approximately 74,267 children under age 5 years are affected by wasting or global acute malnutrition (GAM) with at least 38,425 of these being affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

Response

  • The Nutrition Cluster is working on its cluster response plan for the 2021 HRP whilst continuing with treatment of child wasting as the most critical life-saving intervention for the nutrition humanitarian response. Active screening of children under age 5 for wasting has continued in the current COVID-19 lockdown following adoption of family and mother-led mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screeening which aims at limiting the risk of infection by community health workers involved in screening and yet providing the much needed early identification and referral of children with wasting to health facilities to access treatment for acute malnutrition.

  • In the 25 priority districts, 88,056 children were screened for acute malnutrition at health facilities from 26 October to 22 November, with a total of 367 being admitted for SAM during the same period. At total of 439,706 children were screened in the community by village health workers and caregivers/mothers during the same period. Nationally, 16,127 children were admitted for treatment of SAM between January and October 2020.

  • A total of 25,145 village health workers are actively reporting.

  • Promotion of appropriate IYCF and care practices in the context of the COVID-19 emergency is ongoing with support of nutrition partners, namely ADRA, GOAL, Save the Children, Nutrition Action Zimbabwe (NAZ), Organization for Public Health Interventions & Development (OPHID) and World Vision with a total of 253,241 mothers and caregivers of children under age 2 supported with IYCF messages at the community level whilst 73,993 were reached at health facility level during the month.

  • A total of 67,060 children received Vitamin A supplementation during the reporting period.

  • UNICEF supported procurement of nicotinamide for the treatment of pellagra which is in-country. Health workers are currently being sensitized to identify pellagra cases for treatment, particularly in the peri-urban areas

Gaps

  • The Nutrition Cluster funding for the 2020 HRP response activities has remained at $3.6 million against the $24.6 million required.

  • A higher number of health facilities reported stock outs of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) during the week 16-22 November compared to previous week, with 52 health facilities reporting stock outs of RUTF.

  • Generally lower numbers of children have been reached with vitamin A supplementation (VAS) in 2020 compared to the past two years, partly due to the disrupted health delivery system due to COVID-19 .

  • High integrated management of acute malnutrition (IMAM) defaulter rates are affecting treatment outcomes, compounded by the food insecurity situation, with some of the children that are being discharged as cured relapsing back into the program within a short period.

  • The routine health management information systems (HMIS) weekly reporting and verification of RapidPro data needs to be strengthened to improve quality of data and reduce variations in figures reported by routine systems.

  • Network challenges are affecting completeness of RapidPro reporting.

  • Data collection and reporting in urban and peri-urban areas is inconsistent with mostly incomplete malnutrition data, hence masking the real situation on the ground. However, due to deteriorating economic status and poor water and sanitation, data shows that there are likely to be many malnourished children. Nutrition programming in the urban and peri-urban areas is limited, yet there are highly vulnerable population groups due to the deteriorating socio-economic situation compounded by COVID-19 related movement restrictions and economic activity lockdowns.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Protection (Child Protection)

422K
people targeted
91,969
children reached w/psychosocial activities

Needs

  • Transportation challenges for clients to report and seek services, in addition to inaccessibility of health service due to strikes or infection of health-care staff, are resulting in survivors of violence failing to access post rape care in health facilities as child protection partners need to contact private doctors to receive care for clients.

  • Quarantine measures have placed new stressors on parents and caregivers as a result of children’s prolonged stay at home due to school closure and loss of livelihood due to COVID-19 induced economic challenges.

  • Feedback meetings with Bulawayo, Epworth and Bulilima mentors indicated that the main child protection concerns in these districts were sexual abuse, child neglect, and emotional and physical abuse. In Mazoe, children in late primary and secondary schools are victims of sexual abuse by illegal miners resulting in unintended and unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

  • There is a need for advocacy for waiver of access fees for children, adolescents and young mothers when accessing antiretroviral medication.

Response

  • In October and November 2020, UNICEF working with nine civil society organizations (CSOs) continued to provide community-based psycho-social support (PSS) targeting vulnerable communities. A total of 12,619 vulnerable children (6,104 female, 4,576 male and 1,939 children with disabilities including 911 female and 1028 male) were reached with community-based PSS interventions including at child safe spaces, bringing a cumulative reach of 91,969 children (45,212 female and 30,931 male) and 15,826 children with disabilities (8,284 male and 7,542 female).

  • Through a partnership with Child Protection Society, UNICEF continued to support family tracing and reunification (FTR) of separated and unaccompanied Children. A total of 37 children (18 female and 19 males) were reunified with their families or placed in alternative care arrangements, after living and working on the street. Cumulatively, a total of 943 (365 females and 608 males) have been provided with FTR services.

  • The sub-cluster also continued to rump-up delivery case management services- supporting survivors’ violence. A total of 269 children (198 girls, 58 boys and 18 children living with disabilities (12 female and 6 male)) were reached with response services. Cumulatively, 7,225 children have received response services through the National Case Management System (NCMS), including 6,124 female, 941 male and 160 (107 female and 53 male) children living with disabilities. UNICEF continued to support safe and confidential reporting of SGBV through the adult helpline.

  • To address the challenges that parents and caregivers are facing during COVID-19, four radio programmes which are part of the, "Live Well: Parenting in COVID-19 Series" were aired on SKYZMETRO FM at 11:30 a.m. The radio sessions are aimed at dissemination of positive parenting messaging to foster child protection and resilience in the face of COVID-19 which include interactive sessions with live call ins and WhatsApp messaging. During the reporting period, the CP cluster rolled out four drama sessions per week, two on Skyz Metro (estimated 500,000 listeners), one on National FM (698,000 listeners) and one on Radio Zimbabwe (2,500,000 listeners).

  • Child protection partners continue to work towards ensuring that services are accessible to their clients despite the challenges including: hiring minivans that are used to transport survivors of violence to ensure they have access to post rape care and for ongoing capacity building initiatives where training participants are provided with transportation in areas where public transport is not available.

  • Increase in airtime for staff for continued provision of psychosocial support, remote follow ups and facilitation of case referrals and procurement of PPE.

Gaps

  • There is a lack of COVID-19 related information in accessible formats for persons with disabilities, especially for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the blind or partially blind people.

  • Service delivery is challenged by the lack of adequate PPE. Taking into consideration that CP services cannot always be delivered at 1.5 metres distance, surgical masks and gowns are needed for first line responders. There is increased anxiety among staff for fear of infection.

  • Quarantine facilities, residential care centres and other places of safety where children who were previously living on the streets and children returning from Botswana and South Africa have been placed, lack the bare minimum of basic services to maintain adequate personal hygiene, recreation and services to care for them. In addition, there is a lack of non-food items with specific items to cater for the needs of infants in support of mothers with children under age 2 in quarantine facilities.

  • Child protection has only received 8 per cent funding of the total US$9.6 million that is required. Without this funding, partners continue to face challenges in ensuring the mental health and well-being of all frontline workers. This includes access mental health and psychosocial care, provision of recreational materials for use by children in quarantine facilities, addressing stigma, additional vehicles to facilitate the movement of clients and procurement of adequate PPE to ensure COVID-19 prevention measures are adhered to when conducting home visits for critical cases that cannot be followed up remotely. While partners acknowledge the need to fill this gap the lack of resources remains a limiting factor.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Protection (Gender-based Violence)

845K
people targeted
189,611
pple reached w/GBV risk mitigation & resp.

Needs

  • Risks of gender-based violence continue to intensify in scale and scope while the population is exposed to degenerating food insecurity, compounded by economic hardship and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The national GBV Hotline (Musasa) has recorded a total of 6,200 GBV calls from the beginning of the lockdown on 30 March until 27 November (1,312 in April, 915 in May 2020, 776 in June, 753 in July, 766 in August, 629 in September, 546 in October, and 503 from 1 to 27 November), with an overall average increase of over 60 per cent compared to the pre-lockdown trends. About 94 per cent of the calls are from women. Psychological violence remains the most frequent form (55 per cent of total cases) followed by physical violence (22 per cent of total cases), economic violence (15 per cent) and sexual violence (8 per cent). About 90 per cent of cases are intimate partner violence.

  • Reduced public transport availability remains a challenge in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas for survivors of GBV to access timely multisectoral services. In most impoverished areas, de-prioritization of GBV services is increasingly recorded, as access to daily income sources for household sustenance remains constrained, despite the recent easing of lockdown measures.

  • Service providers continue to report an increase on the number of GBV cases against adolescent girls, as well as exposure to increased negative copying mechanisms, such as child marriage, as one of the indirect consequences of the drought and economic hardship-induced household income reduction. Increase in teenage pregnancies is often identified among the consequences.

  • The health sector crisis continues to impact on accessibility of clinical management of rape services. While mobile one-stop centres continue to receive constant support by dedicated nurses, the strike of health personnel in static facilities indirectly generates reduced capacity to assist rape victims with timely life-saving treatment.

  • As a result of the compounded challenges (transport, reduced health personnel at static health facilities) mobile service providers continue to record an increased demand, which they are counterbalancing through doubling the capacity of multisectoral staff on the ground, in order to ensure continuation of services for a larger number of survivors in hotspots.

Response

  • Since 1 January 2020, the GBV sub-cluster partners have assisted 161,441 individuals (64,836 male, 96,605 female) with community-based GBViE risk mitigation and PSEA outreach, integrated in various community-based mechanisms and with the support of a workforce of 225 community volunteers, including behaviour change facilitators. In addition, 12,174 women and girls were reached with community-based PSS interventions, including at W/G safe spaces, and 15,996 GBV survivors (13,336 female, 2,590 male) were assisted with multisectoral GBV services, through mobile one-stop centres (OSC).

  • The mobile service provision model continued to enhance service uptake in areas where public transport remains unavailable. GBV Sub-cluster partners continue to coordinate their efforts with the Food Security and WASH clusters partners, for the setup of mobile OSCs and safe spaces near food distribution points and community boreholes. In some districts, stronger collaboration with Health cluster partners have resulted in the integration of mobile OSCs teams into mobile Health clinics. Integrated distribution of Family planning supplies is being provided in these sites, as a way to address the inability to access supplies at static services due to lack of transport. The integrated health/OSC model further contributes to enhance access to life-saving GBV services through the broader health services entry point.

  • GBV community surveillance actors also continued to coordinate with FSL community actors at food distribution points, mining areas, water points, permitted community gatherings, contributing to increased availability of safety nets, complaints mechanisms and timely referrals to GBV services in critical hotspots.

  • The provision of alternative transport support to survivors, including those with disabilities and their caregivers, continues to facilitate access to services. Access to data bundles and airtime for community facilitators engaged in GBV surveillance continued to be supported to ensure direct interaction with hotlines operators and continuous timely referrals.

  • Digital messages on GBV during COVID-19 continue to be disseminated through social media and radio (the "Let’s talk GBV" radio programme is airing every Saturday at 11 a.m. live on Capital FM and social media platforms), with a particular focus on domestic violence, PSEA, GBV referral pathways, and SGBV reporting within 72 hours in order to access Post Exposure Profilaxis (PEP). In October, the weekly “Let’s talk GBV” Radio programmes covered the topics of unpacking the laws and policies against GBV in Zimbabwe, and on responding to GBV in schools and communities. In November, the Radio programmes were dedicated to ethical reporting of GBV through the media, GBV in the workplace, and on the critical access to SGBV services within 72 hours.

Gaps

  • The full re-operationalization of GBV facilities continues to face challenges related availability of basic PPE and delayed delivery of COVID-19 IPC supplies.

  • Underfunding remains a critical barrier to the achievement of GBV sub-cluster targets, with only 7 per cent of the HRP requirements funded, while the COVID-19 interventions are currently ongoing only through re-programming of other existing funding, and with less than 5 per cent of requirements met.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

2.7M
people targeted
2.3M
people reached

Needs

  • Over 3.7 million people need WASH support under the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), along with 7.3 million people in need under the COVID-19 Addendum. Under the HRP, partners are targeting more than 4 million people across rural (77 per cent) and urban (23 per cent) areas, while under the COVID-19 Addendum, partners are targeting an additional 2.1 million people.

  • Access to safe water in rural areas remains a challenge with only 30 per cent of the 55,709 water sources tracked by the Rural Water Information Management System (RWIMS), providing water from a protected source.

  • According to the Cabinet Water Security report 19, the national storage level is now averaging 35.2 per cent full as of 19 November 2020 and the levels remain significantly below the average 59 per cent expected at this time of the year. However, due to the rainfall received in the country, some of the major dams such as Ngwane (Matabeleland South), Munjanganja (Masvingo), Antelope (Matabeleland South), Mundi Mataga (Midlands), Bhiri-Manyame (Mashonaland West) and Claw (Mashonaland West) have recorded positive inflows which have boosted water availability for socio-economic uses.

  • The reports of dried up boreholes and shallow wells continue in Matabeleland South, Mashonaland East and West, Masvingo, Harare and Matabeleland South Province. At the same time, the number of boreholes that are breaking down are increasing due to wear and tear, communities lacking funds and support to repair them.

  • As of 15 November, 775 cumulative cases of typhoid and 11 deaths were reported, while for diarrhoea the cumulative figures were 294,123 cases and 123 deaths, across all provinces.

  • With 9,623 cases of COVID-19 cases as of 26 November, and with the rainy season just starting, there is an urgent need to ensure communities continue to receive messaging on safe water and the importance of continuing with hand washing, and for all health-care facilities to have adequate WASH services and IPC measures in place.

  • According to RWIMS, 44 per cent of rural health facilities do not have functioning incinerators, while 3.5 per cent have no functioning toilets and 12 per cent have no handwashing facilities.

  • A total of 165 schools across 10 provinces have been prioritized as needing new boreholes by the MoPSE. According to RWIMS, 53 per cent of schools have no existing handwashing facilities and 21 per cent of schools have no safe sanitation facilities.

Response

  • Over the reporting period, HRP partners have reached 79,918 people with access to safe water. A total of 50,854 people have been assisted with hygiene items through the distribution of hygiene kits and over 260,000 people have received hygiene promotion messaging through mobile and community campaigns. Since January 2020, 31 health-care facilities have been supported by WASH HRP Partners.

  • HRP COVID-19 partners have reached in total, 92,070 people with access to safe water and 360,261 people with sanitation and hygiene messaging.

  • Government and partners constructed 1,541 handwashing stations across the country in institutions, marketplaces, and communities, drilled 148 boreholes, rehabilitated 902 boreholes across the 10 provinces over the period in review.

Gaps

  • There has been a change in funding during the past months for the WASH Cluster’s HRP to 10 per cent ($6.6 million) of the funding being realized and with the COVID-19 response, funding remaining at 13.6 per cent ($983,086). Significant gaps still remain across all areas of the WASH response due to the lack of funding which is not made any better as the COVID-19 cases are increasing and within some of the most water stressed provinces like Bulawayo and with the rainy season predicted to be normal to above-normal the risk for diarrheal diseases also remains high.

  • Although over 2.6 million people have been reached with WASH activities under the HRP and COVID-10 response, this is predominately through mass media hygiene campaigns, and over 3.4 million people in 47 of the 85 targeted districts have not received essential messaging for COVID-19 and other key public health risks.

  • Under the HRP and COVID-19 response, only 30 per cent of the 2.3 million targeted with access to safe drinking water have been reached, leaving 1.6 million people in 16 of the 35 targeted districts with no support at all.

  • For hygiene kits, under the HRP and COVID-19 response, 20 per cent of the targeted 939,650 people have been reached and more than 750,000 of the most vulnerable people require hygiene kits, as just 19 out of 66 targeted districts have received support.

  • Only 10 per cent of the targeted health facilities have been reached in 3 of the 35 targeted districts. A total of 287 targeted health-care facilities therefore still have no identified partner to provide support with institutional hygiene kits including soap, cleaning materials disinfectants and PPE.

  • The dried up water points across the country continues to affect water supply in communities, with the shortages of borehole spares across provinces to support borehole rehabilitation activities in communities increasing water stress.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Sector Status

Migrants/Returnees

32,047
returned migrants as of 26 November

Needs

  • As of 26 November, a total of 32,047 migrants (24,046 on 20 October) have returned to Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries through 10 main points of entry (PoEs), namely Beitbridge, Plumtree, Kazungula, Victoria Falls Land border, Victoria Falls airport, Chirundu, Forbes, Sango, Nyamapanda and Harare airport, since the onset of COVID-19 and the imposed restrictive measures, due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, the lack of access to livelihoods and support from host governments.

  • Most returnees arrived through the three points of entry of Beitbridge border post (19,114), Plumtree (4,605) and Harare International airport (5,960). The number of reported returnees continues steady overpassing significantly the 20,000 projected arrivals and is expected to continue to increase with the reopening of borders in December.

  • Regulations requiring travelers to produce valid COVID-19 test certificates on arrival have been established. Those without these certificates are transferred to provincial centres to be tested and granted circulation if negative. Migrants testing positive remain in isolation centres while those testing negatives are being quarantined at home. With schools reopening and examinations taking place, there is an increase of minors returning to the country .

  • With the number of COVID-19 local transmission increasing there is a need to reinforced surveillance, contact tracing and community hygiene practices and health promotion, especially in border communities, that are more exposed to border jumpers or cross border traders using informal channels.

Response

  • IOM continues to provide support with health personnel at border isolation facilities in the main POEs Beitbridge, Plumtree, Forbes Chirundu and Nyamapanda for real time separation of COVID-19 symptomatic travelers during entry screening within the POE. The facility provides temporary holding and management in case of positive cases or in need of any health support.

  • IOM staff and health personnel at the border continues to conduct regular capacity buildings for all front-line workers in preventive measures, case management, IPC and to migrants’ returnees in terms of self-isolation and identification of symptoms. IOM has engaged the COVID-19 POE pillar, and relevant stakeholders at POE level to support training in regard to the new guidelines and update standard operating procedures (SoPs), to observe and follow the right direction and changes that apply to people entering the country.

  • IOM is assisting migrant returnees with reintegration packages, through cash-based interventions (CBI) distribution of NFI kits, hygiene kits, MHM kits and agricultural kits to cover returnees’ basic needs, supporting the reintegration into receiving communities, and to avoid rejection, stigmatization and social tension.

  • IOM is conducting Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), and health promotion campaigns in 10 districts around Zimbabwe, mainly targeting border communities, to reinforce the need to stay healthy and safe, and respecting COVID-19 prevention measures.

Gaps

  • With the new COVID-19 context situation, its socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and significant figures of returning migrants arriving in Zimbabwe, there is a need to improve community surveillance and detection of border jumpers and cross border traders using informal channels, to avoid the spread of the disease in border communities.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

General Coordination

Needs

  • An emergency of this complexity and magnitude requires the close coordination of all stakeholders. The interaction with Government and frontline ministries, UN agencies and operational partners is vital in rolling out the multisectoral humanitarian support to complement Government’s interventions.

  • Continuous tracking of response progress, funding availability and resource capacity is key to ensure that critical gaps are identified and dealt with.

  • There is a need for increased coordination and information management under the government-led COVID-19 coordination structure with humanitarian and development partners, including communication of priority needs and gaps under the 10 pillars.

  • There is need for standardization and coordination of community engagement activities within the response to promote learning and ensure humanitarian standards are adhered to in the response.

Response

  • A Standing Cabinet Committee, under the stewardship of the Minister for Local Government and Public Works, is tasked with overseeing the Government’s response efforts and coordinates with the humanitarian partners through the office of the UN Resident Coordinator. At the technical and operational level, the Department of Civil Protection (DCP) coordinates the overall Government response with OCHA and UN cluster lead agencies, and interacts with Provincial and District administrations.

  • On 19 March 2020, the Zimbabwe National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 was launched with an initial eight pillars of coordination, the creation of a national COVID-19 Response Task Force and the formation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee. Overall high-level coordination and planning is led by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) working with permanent secretaries of other ministries in support of the Inter-ministerial COVID-19 Task force, with bi-weekly high level coordination meetings on Tuesdays in the Emergency Operations Centre and operational inter-pillar coordination meetings on Wednesdays. On 18 August, in order to strengthen the National COVID-19 response, the Cabinet decided to merge the COVID-19 response into a single response plan comprising the Command Centre, Office of the COVID-19 Chief Coordinator and Ministry of Health and Child Care.

  • On 17 July, a COVID-19 Addendum to the Zimbabwe Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was revised and updated integrating a multisectoral migrant returnees response, requiring $85 million to respond to the immediate public health crisis and the secondary impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable people. This is in addition to the $715 million required in the HRP. Zimbabwe was included in the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) as one of the countries requiring immediate support for prioritized COVID-19 interventions.

  • Humanitarian partners and donors meet monthly (and ad-hoc if necessary) under the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator. Individual sectors also meet on a regular basis and are chaired and co-chaired by the relevant line ministries and humanitarian cluster lead agencies. Inter-cluster coordination meetings take place bi-weekly chaired by OCHA, supported by a gender advisor, as well as coordinators for PSEA and community engagement since June 2020.

  • A Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA) Technical Working Group is leading the implementation of identified priorities to strengthen community engagement and ensure that the needs of affected people are at the centre of response interventions.

  • The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Steering Committee chaired by the RC/HC started its work in October and is overseeing PSEA activities in the country providing strategic support. The PSEA inter-agency network is rolling out the Zimbabwe SEA reporting SOPs, with 35 PSEA focal points from national and international NGOs and UN agencies trained from 19 October to 11 November.

  • The 2021 Zimbabwe HRP being drafted in consultation with humanitarian and government partners.

Gaps

  • Critical funding gap hinders operational coordination of the response. As of 1 December 2020, the Financial Tracking System (FTS) reports that the overall Zimbabwe HRP is 26 per cent funded with $ 206.8 million, with an additional $39.4 million funded outside this plan. The plan’s main non-COVID-19 part is 24.2 per cent funded with $173.5 million, whereas the COVID-19 Addendum and input to the Global HRP (GHRP) is 39.2 per cent funded with $33.3 million.

  • Continuity of coordination personnel/expertise is not assured, and this presents operational difficulty where frequent personnel turnover is required during the HRP time frame.

  • Despite that the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 ensures the continuity of essential services, including humanitarian cluster activities, implementation and coordination have been constrained.

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