Under the two-year Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation that began in January 2011, WFP and cooperating partners are providing three main categories of food assistance: Seasonal Targeted Assistance, Health and Nutrition, and Social Safety Nets.
In 2012, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) estimated that more than 1.6 million food-insecure people in rural areas will be unable to meet their basic food requirements in the 2012/2013 consumption year, until the time of the next harvest in April 2013. WFP and partners are responding by providing Seasonal Targeted Assistance to meet the food needs of highly vulnerable groups during this lean season.
Through its Health and Nutrition Programme, WFP assists in the nutritional recovery of ART/TB patients, malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and children under five. Through its Social Safety Net programme, these patients are given family food rations to promote food access and consumption among vulnerable households.
In the past decade, WFP has assisted millions of food-insecure people across Zimbabwe, reaching peak levels in early 2009 when hyper-inflation and a breakdown of the commercial supply-chain led to empty shelves in shops.
The recent emergence of a more enabling environment in Zimbabwe, however, has enabled a shift in humanitarian support from emergency to development assistance. Consequently, WFP is moving from a ‘Hunger Response’ to a ‘Hunger Solutions’-based approach. Current operations focus on initiating early recovery activities which offer a more sustainable solution to food insecurity and inadequate nutrition. The strategy combines relief and early recovery elements and prioritises food assistance through in-kind food interventions and voucher/cash transfers schemes.