Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Highlights

  • As of 25 October, 8,275 COVID-19 cases and 237 deaths were confirmed, with 77 per cent in the four provinces of Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands and Matabeleland South.
  • From 1 April to 20 October, 24,046 Zimbabwean migrants returned from neighbouring countries, with the number of returnees in quarantine significantly decreasing.
  • According to the ZimVAC assessment, 5.5 million people, 56 per cent of the rural population, are estimated to be cereal insecure from January to March 2021.
  • The ZimVAC assessment indicates that the nutrition status of children in Zimbabwe has deteriorated with global acute malnutrition prevalence increasing from 3.6 to 3.8 per cent.
Zimbabwe: WFP
WFP staff supports lean season targeted food assistance while adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures. ©WFP

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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
$206.2M
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

The United Nations and humanitarian partners revised the Humanitarian Response Plan (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.

The 2020 Zimbabwe Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), launched on 2 April 2020, indicates that 7 million people in urban and rural areas are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across Zimbabwe, compared to 5.5 million in August 2019. Since the launch of the Revised Humanitarian Appeal in August 2019, circumstances for millions of Zimbabweans have worsened. Drought and crop failure, exacerbated by macro-economic challenges and austerity measures, have directly affected vulnerable households in both rural and urban communities. Inflation continues to erode purchasing power and affordability of food and other essential goods is a daily challenge. The delivery of health care, clean water and sanitation, and education has been constrained and millions of people are facing challenges to access vital services.

There are more than 4.3 million people severely food insecure in rural areas in Zimbabwe, according to the latest Intergrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, undertaken in February 2020. In addition, 2.2. million people  in urban areas, are “cereal food insecure”, according to the most recent Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) analysis with a new ZimVAC assessment conducted between 10 and 21 July 2020. According to the findings of the 2020 Rural Vulnerability Assessment adopted by the Cabinet, 5.5 million people or 56 per cent of the rural population are estimated to be cereal insecure at the peak of the hunger season, from January to March 2021. The main drivers of the food insecurity situation include COVID-19 and its restrictive measures, drought and heightened economic challenges. In addition, locust damage to crops are expected to compound existing food insecurity in communities. With nutritional needs remaining high with over 1.1 million children and women requiring nutrition assistance for 2020, according to the July 2020 ZimVAC rural assessment, global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence has increased from 3.6 per cent to 3.8 per cent. The nutrition status of children in Zimbabwe has shown deterioration with the minimum acceptable diet in young children decreasing to 2.1 per cent from 6.9 per cent recorded in 2019. In addition, 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.

At least 4 million vulnerable Zimbabweans are facing challenges accessing primary health care and drought conditions trigger several health risks. Decreasing availability of safe water, sanitation and hygiene have heightened the risk of communicable disease outbreaks for 3.7 million vulnerable people. Some 1.2 million school-age children are facing challenges accessing education. The drought and economic situation have heightened protection risks, particularly for women and children. Over a year after Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe in March 2019, 128,270 people remain in need of humanitarian assistance across the 12 affected districts in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. There are 21,328 refugees and asylum seekers in Zimbabwe who need international protection and multisectoral life-saving assistance to enable them to live in safety and dignity.

As of 25 October 2020, Zimbabwe had a cumulative total of 8,276 confirmed cases, 7,797 recoveries (94 per cent) and 237 deaths. Four provinces (Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands and Matabeleland South) accounted for 77 per cent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe. The weekly decline that started from end of July continued until early October. There was however a 50 per cent increase in reported cases in week of 4-10 October with 125 confirmed cases reported, compared to the previous week with 82 confirmed cases reported, driven by an increase in cases in Harare and Bulawayo. Priorities for the COVID-19 response include: enhanced preparedness of COVID-19 resurgence, with the need for 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); essential health services, including the implementation of recommendations from national assessment of essential health services including lessons learned from recently released national programme guidance (HIV/AIDS, TB, Immunization), and the continuation to prioritize Health worker occupational health and safety; and enhanced preparedness for other health emergencies (outbreaks, floods), including the need to update provincial and district emergency preparedness plans, intensified surveillance, pre-positioning of emergency logistics and supplies. A total of 24,046 migrants returned to Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries as of 20 October, 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 reported returnees passed the 20,000 projected arrivals and is expected to continue to increase with the reopening of borders, schools and tourism in the next coming weeks. New Government regulations making the mandatory seven-day quarantine period for returning migrants no longer applicable and requiring travellers to produce valid COVID-19 test certificates on arrival have seen numbers in POE quarantine and isolation facilities drop significantly.

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. In addition, the recording of received humanitarian funding by humanitarian partners is being updated in FTS.

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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 IDPs, 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 all the three camps, as well as health services and with COVID-19 as IDP's 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 Government of Zimbabwe is accelerating the preparation of land and services at the new relocation site in Vumba. Pegging of stands is in advance stage, IOM is ensuring regular coordination meetings between IPDs committees and Government authorities, to ensure there is an official list with allocation of land, so IDPs can start constructing and preparing livelihood activities. Providing technical capacity to the Government, IOM is supporting the relocation process and assist with camp coordination and camp management ensuring that IDPs have access to basic services. 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.

  • IOM revived CCCM activities in camps and reactivated camp structures and feedback mechanisms through meetings with district authorities and camp committees. As a result, there is now consistent reporting on the conditions in camps.

  • Three camp reception offices set up at Garikai, Arboretum and Nyamatanda camps are also being used as administration hubs by partners providing services in the camps .

  • Family Aids Caring Trust (FACT) under the Humanitarian Assistance to Cyclone Survivors Project distributed Food and NFIs 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.

  • The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee trained IDPs both in camp and in host communities on sporting activities, as a source of entertainment, wellness, and life skills.

  • Youth Alive held a program with young people on COVID-19 Awareness and Sexual Reproductive Health

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.

  • 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 last year, 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 of the more than 3.4 million children of school going age (3 to 12 years), at least 1.2 million (35 per cent), would need emergency and specialized education services in 2020. This includes 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 expected to have far-reaching implications for the demand and supply of education services. While Zimbabwe closed schools on March 24, 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect school populations, school closures have disrupted the education of more than 4.6 million children, with adverse impacts on the protection and well-being of children as well as their readiness for school, attendance and participation in learning.

  • Prolonged school closures are likely to have a major and negative affect 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 likely 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. School closures have the potential to widen learning disparities and increase the risk of some learners permanently dropping out of school.

  • The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) successfully conducted June national examinations for Forms 4 and Form 6 from 30 June, 2020 to 23 July. However, the planned reopening of schools, which was originally scheduled for 28 July 2020, was postponed indefinitely. In August 2020, Cabinet announced re-opening of schools for examination classes (Grade 7, Form 4 and Form 6) as follows: 14 September 2020 for those sitting for the Cambridge examinations and 28 September 2020 for classes scheduled to sit for local Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) examinations. Local ZIMSEC examinations are expected to begin on 1 December 2020. While the MoPSE continues to consult widely on the reopening of schools, there has been no announcement for the rest of the non-examination classes.

  • While the MoPSE is prioritizing the health and well-being of learners, teachers, staff and school communities, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted both the health and economic systems. To add to these challenges, schools, which traditionally rely on user fees to fund their daily operations, will likely be resource constrained. Most parents will most likely be unable to pay school fees because most rural and urban households are experiencing economic hardships induced by COVID-19-induced economic shocks. Ensuring that all the pre-conditions for the safe reopening of schools, including infection prevention and control measures, the provision of hygiene facilities and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as adherence to physical spacing, and social distancing considerations in a context of increasing cases loads and a fragile economic context also represents significant risks. Without a well-resourced education and health systems, reopening schools remains a significant challenge. At the same time, protecting the right of every child to learn has never been more urgent.

Response

  • As of the end of September 2020, a total of 139,606 people have benefited from various activities implemented by the cluster partners as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan 2020.

  • A total of 846,181 people have benefited from COVID-19 related activities linked to the overall Zimbabwe Education Sector Preparedness and Response Strategy and the Humanitarian Response Plan COVID-19 addendum for the period of March to September 2020. In addition, various Education in Emergencies (EiE) partners are implementing the following activities across the country as part of efforts to respond to and combat the impact of the COVD-19 pandemic:

  • To date, 646 radio lessons have been developed with 520 lessons broadcasted in the area of infection prevention and control (IPC).

  • 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 Humanitarian Response Planning (HRP) 2020, six district-level Training of Trainers workshops were conducted to strengthen safeguarding among 294 Community Volunteers facilitating “SAGE” NFE programme in 6 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 through its partners has 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.

  • A cluster partner distributed 342 primary learning materials, 459 secondary learning materials and 241 Community Based Education learning materials in Chivi and Mberenga districts.

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. To date, the Cluster has only received 15 per cent of its funding requests to address to prioritized critical needs, including the provision of adequate water, soap and thermometers to enhance IPC measures in schools, teaching and learning materials to ensure the continuous learning and prepare for the reopening of schools.

  • Teacher Mass Action: Since the announcement of the reopening of schools, teachers’ unions have called for mass strikes citing incapacitation- lack of money for bus fares, food and other basic needs-to return to work. This mass action has the overall impact of affecting the response to COVID-19 when children return 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
1M
people received assistance in September

Needs

  • According to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, a total of 6 million people are in urgent need of food assistance across Zimbabwe both in rural and urban areas. In addition, 1.5 million small holder farmers are 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. A further revision of rural food assistance needs will be undertaken when data from the forthcoming assessments are available.

  • 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 forecasts that food insecure people will 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, generally prices of basic food items have plateaued and remained high since the high increases during the second quarter of 2020. The year on year inflation decreased from 838 per cent in July to 761 per cent in August 2020, and the month-on-month inflation from 36 per cent to 8 per cent. Food inflation, the main driver of inflation, also decreased from 977 per cent to 866 per cent. Prices of basic food commodities increased by an average of 10 per cent over the month of September 2020. The relative stable price trends in ZWL terms is in line with stabilized foreign exchange rates.

  • The preliminary findings of the 2020 Rural Vulnerability Assessment were adopted by the Cabinet and shared publicly. According to the findings of the assessment, about 5.5 million people or 56 per cent of the rural population are estimated to be cereal insecure at the peak of the hunger season, from January to March 2021. Some of the main drivers of the food insecurity situation include the following: i) COVID-19 and its restrictive measures; ii) drought and iii) heightened economic challenges. One of its main recommendations is the provision of food assistance to save lives and protect livelihoods.

  • 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 August, the FSL Cluster partners reported providing in-kind food assistance, vouchers or cash (USD) to 895,000 people in both rural and urban zones. Further, 155,000 people received agricultural and livelihood support. In September, partners reported providing in-kind food assistance, vouchers or cash (USD) to 1,060,00 people in both rural and urban zones, with further 224,000 people receiving agricultural and livelihood support.

  • In September, WFP’s Rural Lean Season Assistance (LSA) programme reached approximately 596,000 people, while in urban areas WFP has scaled up its programme to reach 201,000 people across 22 domains. In October, the LSA caseload will scale up to reach just over 1 million people, and additional rural districts will also be added if more funding becomes available.

  • 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 OCHA Zimbabwe Funding Overview (as of 13 October 2020), only $190.7 million of the $483.3 million (39 per cent) total requested budget for the revised HRP 2020 was funded.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Health

3M
people targeted
8,275
COVID-19 cases (as of 25 October)

Needs

  • As of 25 October 2020, Zimbabwe had a cumulative total of 8,275 confirmed cases, 7,797 recoveries (94 per cent) and 237 deaths. Four provinces (Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands and Matabeleland South) accounted for 77 per cent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe. The weekly decline that started from the epidemiological week 31 (26 July-1 August 2020) continued to week 40 (27 Sept-3 Oct 2020). There was a 50 per cent increase in reported cases in week 41 (4-10 Oct) with 125 confirmed cases reported, compared to week 40 with 82 confirmed cases reported. The increase in cases in week 41 was driven by an increase in cases in Harare and Bulawayo.

  • As for essential health services, there is a need to implement the recommendations from the national assessment of essential health services including lessons learned from the recently released national programme guidance (HIV/AIDS, TB, Immunization), and to continue to prioritize health worker occupational health and safety. 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 36 per cent in 2020 (April - July) compared to same period in 2019. For maternal health services, at least 4th Antenatal visit declined by 45 per cent in 2020 (April -July) compared to same period in 2019. On immunization services, the proportion of districts reporting at least 80 per cent routine immunization coverage with Penta3 declined from 90 per cent in December 2019 to 59 per cent by end June 2020.

Response

  • Major recent developments under the national COVID-19 response include: (1) Intra-action review (IAR) of Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 response February-September 2020 (Field assessment in 30 districts completed; Provincial review meetings conducted in all 10 provinces; Online survey among partners/stakeholders ongoing; National wide assessment of essential health services conducted; National level IAR meeting to be held by mid-October 2020); (2) Intensification of surveillance in provinces that have the most significant decline in samples collected for COVID-19 testing; (3) 31 laboratories passed External Quality Assurance (EQA); (4) Roll out of recently released WHO recommendations of Antigen-based RDTs with Emergency Use Listing Status; (5) Continued capacity building of front-line health workers, community leaders-IPC, risk communication; (6) Country preparedness for COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

  • Delivery of essential services was continued through: (1) National wide comprehensive assessment conducted on 5 to 10 October 2020; (2) Health worker occupational health and safety with 448 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; (3) Enhanced emergency preparedness, with four suspect typhoid cases; 6,961 diarrhoea cases; 418 dysentery cases; 24 anthrax cases; 2,804 influenza-like illness cases reported during the epidemiological week 39, including integrated intensified disease surveillance, pre-positioning of emergency logistics and supplies; and (4) Risk assessment-Vaccine Preventable Diseases, with 9 districts identified at high risk and 15 districts at medium risk for measles outbreaks, with risk mitigation strategies including targeted catch up immunization campaigns, intensified outbreak activities, urban immunization strategies and community mobilization.

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 the 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 continued to increase in Zimbabwe. As per routine data, 1,452 pellagra cases were recorded between January and August 2020, which is almost double compared to the 840 cases over the same period last year (DHIS2, Sept 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.

Response

  • The Nutrition Cluster is currently working on the 2021 Humanitarian Needs overview 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) 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 of acute malnutrition. Nationally, 13,307 children were admitted for treatment of SAM between January and August 2020. From June to July, the numbers of children decreased from 1,584 to 1,397 consecutively showing a similar trend to what was seen in same period in the past three years which is experienced after the harvest season. The Nutrition Cluster is prioritizing the improvement of the quality of care provided in the Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) and inpatient stabilization centres owing to the continuous mentorship and capacity building of health workers.

  • Approximately 6,679 village health workers were trained on active screening and IYCF in the Covid-19 context and consistent with the improved capacity was an increase in admissions of children with acute malnutrition. Additionally, 1,805 health-care workers have been trained on integrated management of acute malnutrition (IMAM) from April-August 2020 to support improved quality of care for malnourished children. In addition, 217 lead mothers were trained on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in Chiredzi increasing the number of community volunteers leading mother care groups. More health care workers and community health workers are still being capacitated to support the emergency response. The Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) is developing remote training materials aiming at strengthening the capacity of health workers and clinicians working in hard to reach areas through the e-learning platform.

  • 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. In the first two weeks of September 2020, 128,038 pregnant and lactating women and caregivers of children under age 2 were reached with counselling support and an estimated 2 million people have been reached through the nine episodes of the radio show “Live Well: The Health and Nutrition Show” on topics related to nutrition, health and HIV in the context of COVID-19.

  • Between January and August 2020, 736,266 children received vitamin A supplementation (76 per cent of the cluster target on Vitamin A supplementation). Vitamin A coverage is improving with the strengthening of integrated community outreach services in all districts in the country.

  • The RapidPro SMS reporting, an innovation of UNICEF in conjunction with the MoHCC, was initiated in April 2020 and is operational in 25 targeted districts and two acute malnutrition hotspots with districts reporting on weekly basis on seven high frequency nutrition indicators.

  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care, together with partners WFP, UNICEF, UNAIDS and ILO, continues strengthening integration and dissemination of health and nutrition messages to the general public using a coordinated approach.

  • WFP in collaboration with UNICEF and MoHCC continued providing the emergency response for screening for acute malnutrition as well as providing SBCC materials. The preventive rations were discontinued from July 2020 until next lean season. Besides the General Food Distribution, WFP is supporting 60 Maternity Waiting Homes (MWHs) in Mutare, Harare and Bulawayo. On average, the programme support a total of 3,000 women per month with a 15 days ration comprising: cereal, pulses, oil and super cereal.

  • There is great appreciation for the programme from the hospital staff and the expecting women as they see the food and nutrition security benefits of the programme (one of the major reasons why expecting women did not utilize maternity shelters was limited supplies of food to share with the household members remaining at home. It can be noted that a constant supply of food from WFP has resulted in increased admissions at waiting homes). This has also provided an opportunity for early detection of complications related to malnutrition e.g. anemia, low birth weight and pre-term babies also reducing. The program has also resulted in reduced number of home deliveries, which is a risk factor of maternal death .

  • Facility deliveries has also increased survival chances for the new-born babies. This is due to access to skilled health care in infant nutrition. The increase in admissions has also improved close monitoring of blood pressure which is checks twice a day, monitoring fetal hearts and screening of mothers at risk and early management. This has also helped in dissemination of important health related information to expecting mothers whilst in the facilities e.g. importance of EBF etc. In the urban areas, WFP is providing cash-based transfer for supporting household food security. This is complemented by nutrition activities as follows:

    • Prior to COVID 19, the Urban Food Security and Resilience Building Programme mainstreamed nutrition through inclusion of nutrition sensitive messages during pre-disbursement meetings at ward level. This included messages on: food preparation; prevention of malnutrition and the five star diet information which included (1) Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) – Exclusive breastfeeding, (2) Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) – Complementary feeding, (3) Dietary Diversification, (4) Maternal Health, and (5) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene .

    • In the wake of COVID-19, partners have shared nutrition messages though bulk SMSs. The messages were mainly aimed at educating people on selecting nutritious food when redeeming their entitlements.

Gaps

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

  • The Nutrition Cluster has noted knowledge gaps in nutrition programming in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in nutrition messaging for national partners, community, and facility-based health workers.

  • Inadequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the community volunteers and supervisors implementing nutrition in emergencies life-saving activities continues to be a gap posing a challenge for the implementation of the nutrition lifesaving interventions. The market demand for PPE is much more than the supply and UNICEF continues to follow-up on supplies ordered.

  • Due to the high demand of MUAC tapes for family-led MUAC screening, some mothers have not yet received MUAC tapes which is hindering the progress of the programme. More than 10,000 packs of MUAC tapes have been ordered and are in the pipeline and none have been received in the past six months. Lack of transport, as well as travel and movement restrictions, fear of contracting COVID-19 infections, and prioritization of emergency life-saving interventions over routine critical nutrition services are eroding the gains made over the years.

  • The Nutrition Cluster is exploring options for local production of MUAC to avoid overreliance on international procurement.

  • There is a general need to upscale screening for malnutrition in the peri-urban areas particularly with an increase in cases of pellagra as reported in the routine DHIS2 system.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Protection (Child Protection)

422K
people targeted
78,208
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.

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

  • The closure of the Registrar’s General Office which currently has very few staff working has resulted in challenges and delays in the age determination for children in conflict with the law who do not have birth certificates who have to remain in detention until it can be confirmed that they are minors a challenge reported mainly in Mashonaland East Province.

  • 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.

Response

  • Since January 2020, 78,208 children, including 10,194 children with disabilities (45 per cent boys and 55per cent girls) and children who have family members infected with COVID-19, have benefitted from structured child protection and psychosocial support (PSS) activities. Child Protection Society (CPS) working with the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare (MoPSLSW) has provided tracing and reunification services to 906 unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) with 215 children who were previously living on the streets and 164 children referred by Department of Social Welfare (DSW) from quarantine facilities at the borders being reunified. During the reporting period, the child help line received 706 calls on SGBV and violence against children (VAC) related cases involving girls.

  • To address the challenges that parents, and caregivers are facing during COVID-19,4 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. The radio broadcasts covered various topics on the impact of COVID-19 children living with disabilities and teenagers including teen pregnancies, child marriage and SGBV, aired on 15, 17, 22, 24 and 29 September, and 2 and 6 October.

  • The relaxation of lockdown measures has resulted in issuance of subpoenas and setting of new trial dates for cases including SGBV that did not kick off during the strict lockdown.

  • 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.

  • To facilitate the release of children in detention who do not have birth certificates Magistrates are applying the Provision in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that allows them to estimate the age of children which has facilitated court rulings and the eventual release of these children.

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 lack of adequate PPE as the crisis continues taking into consideration that CP services cannot always be delivered at 1.5 metres distance hence surgical masks and gowns are needed for first line responders. and increased anxiety among staff for fear of infection in a context of poor health care.

  • 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
150,180
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 5,306 GBV calls from the beginning of the lockdown on 30 March until 7 October (1,312 in April, 915 in May 2020, 776 in June, 753 in July, 766 in August , 629 in September, 155 from 1 October to 7 October), 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. In the last three months, an increase in psychological violence was recorded (55 per cent of total cases) as compared with previous months. Other dominant forms remain physical violence (22 per cent of total cases) followed by 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 lockdown.

  • Service providers have reported 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 economic hardship and household income reduction. Increase in teenage pregnancies is also often identified among the consequences.

  • The health sector crisis continues to impact on accessibility of clinical management of rape services. While mobile OSCs teams 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 life-saving treatment. Furthermore, some partners report that Health services are turning down patients due to increased fears of local COVID-19 transmission, with serious consequences on timely access to lifesaving health treatments, including chronic illness, maternal health, and post rape.

  • As a result of the compounded challenges (transport, reduced health personnel at static Health facilities) mobile service providers are recording 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 129,220 individuals (51,342 male, 77,878 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, 9,479 women and girls were reached with community-based PSS interventions, including at W/G safe spaces, and 11,481 GBV survivors (9,261female, 2,220 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. The Mobile OSCs teams have strengthened their interaction with Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Victim Friendly Units (VFU) to ensure timely referrals of GBV survivors at points of entry and in areas nearby quarantine facilities.

  • GBV community surveillance and mobile service providers have also strengthened their presence 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.

  • Alternative transport fees support to survivors, including those with disabilities and their caregivers, also 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, the GBV referral pathway, SGBV reporting within 72 hours in order to access Post Exposure Profilaxis (PEP). On 28 August, as part of the World Humanitarian Day commemorations, the “Let’s talk GBV” Radio programme was dedicated to the male engagement for GBV risk mitigation.

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 SC 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 are in need of 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 Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), the national dam level average as of 16 July was at 46.4 per cent, while the average levels for this time of year are usually 68.8 per cent. Dams that supply Bulawayo City are at just 25.6 per cent capacity and there is a deficit of 17 million litres of water per day for the city’s residents. Plumtree Town council water source, Mangwe Dam that supplies more than 6,000 residents with water is drying up and its levels are at around 35 per cent). Flows in major rivers have significantly declined, with no flows in Runde, Gwayi and Mzingwane Rivers. These shortages also affect hydropower generation, which in turn affects urban water supply and treatment and causing water rationing which impacts people’s ability to maintain good hygiene practices.

  • In Matabeland South, Mashonaland East and West, Masvingo, Harare and Matabeleland South Province boreholes and shallow wells are reported to be drying up due to the ongoing drought. At the same time, the number of boreholes that are breaking down are increasing as communities lack funds and support to repair them.

  • The cumulative figures for typhoid as of 4 October were 717 cases and 10 deaths, while for diarrhoea the cumulative figures were 239, 858 cases and 115 deaths, across all provinces.

  • With 8,275 cases of COVID-19 cases as of 25 October, and with the rainy season starting there is an urgent need to ensure all HCFs 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

  • HRP partners have reached 179,223 people with access to safe water. A total of 45,853 people have been assisted with hygiene items through the distribution of hygiene kits and over 205,000 people have received hygiene promotion messaging through mobile and community campaigns. Since January 2020, 31 HCF 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 3,141 handwashing stations across the country in institutions, marketplaces, and communities, drilled 21 boreholes, rehabilitated 221 boreholes and 4 boreholes across the 10 provinces over the period in review.

Gaps

  • There has been no change in funding during the past month for the WASH Cluster’s HRP with only 3 per cent ($1.8 million) of the funding being realized. For the COVID-19 response, funding remains at 13.6 per cent ($983,086). Significant gaps across all areas of the WASH response remain due to the lack of funding.

  • Although 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 27 per cent of the 2.3 million targeted with access to safe drinking water have been reached, leaving 1.7 million people in 18 of the 35 targeted districts with no support at all.

  • For hygiene kits under the HRP and COVID-19 response, 18 per cent of the targeted 939,650 people have been reached and more than 766,000 of the most vulnerable people require hygiene kits, as just 20 out of 66 targeted Districts have received support.

  • Only 10 per cent of the targeted health facilities have been reached in three of the targeted 35 districts. 268 targeted health care facilities therefore still have no identified partner to provide support with institutional hygiene kits including soap, cleaning materials disinfectants and PPE.

  • With schools reopening the needs in schools have come to the fore with 165 schools still requiring new water sources while 785 schools need institutional hygiene kits.

  • Fuel pricing in US dollars is resulting in lack of transport, particularly for government agencies, which is affecting the WASH Sector’s ability to implement activities across all districts.

  • The increased reports of water points drying up across the country continues to affect water supply in communities with some government departments reporting shortages of borehole spares across provinces to support borehole rehabilitation activities in communities.

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Zimbabwe

Situation Report

Sector Status

Migrants/Returnees

24,046
returned migrants (as of 20 October)

Needs

  • As of 20 October, a total of 24,046 migrants (18,459 on 13 September, 15,776 on 19 August, 10,808 on 7 July; and 6,892 on 9 June), have returned to Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries through ten 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 (11,958), Plumtree (4,105), and Harare International airport (5,960). The number of reported returnees continues steady overpassing the 20,000 projected arrivals and is expected to continue to increase with the reopening of borders, schools and tourism in the next coming weeks.

  • Regulations requiring travelers to produce valid COVID-19 test certificates on arrival have seen numbers in POE quarantine and isolation facilities drop significantly. Those without these certificates are transferred to provincial centres. The significant decrease of people in quarantine centres is also the result of new Government regulations making the mandatory seven-day quarantine period for returning migrants no longer applicable. Migrants testing positive remain in isolation centres while those testing negatives are being quarantined at home. In addition, returning migrants already in quarantine centres who were quarantined for a longer period than 14 days and do not present COVID-19 symptoms are been discharged.

  • As a result of cabinet resolution returning migrants that avail their results with a negative COVID-19 certificate conducted in the previous 24 hours from a recognize entity, will be allowed to proceed home for self-isolation.

  • With schools reopening and examinations taking place, there is an increase of minors returning to the country .

  • Community isolation centres are in the process of been identified following the increase of local transmissions, with communities struggling to isolate positive cases due to lack of housing space and capacity requiring support from the Government.

  • 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, especifically 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.

  • Fom 7 to 13 October 2020, six schools in Beitbridge, Chirundu and Nyamapanda received PPE. Up to 1000 commercial truck drivers received COVID-19 awareness information during temperature screening at Port Health desks at PoE, including over 500 having their facemasks replaced. At least 4,500 people used the provided handwashing facilities at the different PoE on a daily basis. From 30 September to 6 October 2020, over 10,000 PPE articles were distributed, with over 2,000 people benefitting from infection prevention and control initiatives.

  • 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 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.

Gaps

  • Provision of livelihood support for the returnees after discharge from the quarantine facilities is increasingly needed to support the reintegration into receiving communities, and to avoid rejection, stigmatization and social tension.

  • 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 increase health education and behavioural change in receiving and border communities to increase hygiene practices, avoid stigmatization and increased fear to reintegrate returning migrants, and 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. In June 2020, the Permanent Secretary for MOHCC was appointed as Chief Coordinator of the COVID-19 response in the Office of the President and the Cabinet. On 4 August 2020, a new Minister of Health and Child Care was appointed by the President, with a new Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry appointed on 3 August. 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 has been included in the May July updates of 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. Due to the COVID-19, all meetings are being held virtually.

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

Gaps

  • Critical funding gap hinders operational coordination of the response. As of 18 August 2020, the Financial Tracking System (FTS) reports that the overall Zimbabwe HRP is 18.9 per cent funded with $151.2 million, with an additional $12.7 million funded outside this plan. The plan’s main non-COVID-19 part is 18.1 per cent funded with $129.7 million, whereas the COVID-19 Addendum and input to the Global HRP (GHRP) is 25.4 per cent funded with $21.6 million.

  • Only 11 per cent of the total requested has been committed, and this critical funding gap hinders operational coordination of the response.

  • 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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