Type of response:
Most southern Africa countries are likely to receive below normal harvests in 2020, given the poor performance of the 2019/20 rainfall season, characterized by erratic and below normal rains. This is also the outlook for Zambia and Zimbabwe – the impact of the reduced rains is expected to have caused a contraction in the area planted and lowered yield prospects. Heavier rainfall since mid-December 2019 provided some respite and helped to alleviate moisture deficits, but concurrently resulted in localized flooding in parts of both countries with the earth too dry and hard to absorb the rain. In Zambia, the number of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance will rise from 1.7 million people (May – September 2019), to about 2.3 million people being in a severe food insecure situation.
The Joint Response in Zambia and Zimbabwe targets the most vulnerable households, aiming to improve direct access to food, protect and rebuild livelihoods, which contributes to the structural approach addressing the drought, provide access to clean drinking water and raise awareness on hygiene and nutrition, and screen and treat children below 5 and pregnant and lactating women for malnutrition. The design of the intervention is based on the sectors directly related to the drought situation, in line with the cluster recommendations, based on the expertise of partners and complementarity with other ongoing interventions. Partners work in rural as well as urban areas, depending on the locally identified needs. Throughout the intervention, cluster, SPHERE and CHS standards are followed.