What are the needs?
In recent years, major disease outbreaks have been prevented in Zimbabwe thanks to strengthened preparedness and significant improvements in access to safe water, sanitation and health care services. However, the country still faces localised outbreaks of water-borne diseases associated with erratic water supply, poor hygiene practices and inadequate sanitation facilities.
The food security situation in Zimbabwe, and in southern Africa as a whole, remains worrying. Prolonged dry spells in the southern and south-eastern parts of the country have led to food shortages in 2015, with a halving in maize production compared to 2014.
1.5 million Zimbabweans, which represent 16% of rural households, will likely be unable to meet their food needs for months to come. To make matters worse, more drought is expected as a result of the global El Niño phenomenon. Also, the country has seen a decline in remittances from abroad against a background of poor economic prospects.
How are we helping?
The European Commission has been, in the recent past, one of the largest donors supporting improved water and sanitation in Zimbabwe with the aim of preventing and controlling epidemics like cholera, measles and typhoid. It has also supported actions to improve preparation and response to health-related emergencies, in a context of declining means for the country’s health system.
The European Commission has matched emergency funding with longer-term aid, so as to address the food needs of vulnerable families and help them on the path to full recovery.
At present, funding goes to improving the disaster-related preparedness and response capacities of the communities, and to food assistance following continued drought in parts of the country.