© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1340/Nesbitt

A nurse takes notes as a woman, child and other patients rest nearby, in a cholera treatment centre in the town of Chengutu in the country’s worst cholera outbreak in its modern history.


The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe continues to be seriously impacted by a set of complex, overlapping and often worsening economic, political and social factors. Spiralling inflation, deteriorating physical infrastructure, protracted election period, public sector’s inability to deliver basic social services, and the severe impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic have led to a decline in the overall health and well-being of the population. Erosion of livelihoods, food insecurity, rising malnutrition and the unprecedented cholera outbreak that started in August 2008 are putting the already vulnerable population under further distress.


UNICEF leads the nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) clusters as well as the Education Working Group. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach 5 million vulnerable people in 2009 with interventions in health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, HIV/AIDS and child protection.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to 1,780 health centres; target 1.8 million children aged 9–59 months with measles vaccine and 2 million children with vitamin A supplementation; distribute 250,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to children under age five and pregnant women; support community-and hospital-based treatment of an estimated 9,000 severely malnourished children; promote appropriate infant feeding practices in emergencies; implement two rounds of nutritional surveillance; and coordinate nutrition cluster humanitarian preparedness, planning and response. As a response to cholera epidemic UNICEF will train 620 health workers on the management of diarrhoea in children and procure medical supplies for cholera treatment centres.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will support over 3 million people affected by WASH-related epidemics with safe water, sanitation and hygiene interventions by constructing/rehabilitating water points and sanitary facilities, especially linked to health institutions at worst conditions; carry out WASH assessments; support the procurement of water treatment chemicals; and promote positive hygiene behaviours and hygiene promotion awareness programmes in 230 schools, including all 100 schools targeted by education section and local communities. UNICEF will continue to coordinate WASH cluster planning, preparedness, information management and response.

Education: UNICEF will aim to improve school enrolment by providing relevant teaching and learning materials in order to bring back and maintain at least 1.5 million vulnerable children in school through the identification of most vulnerable primary schools and supplying them with core textbooks, stationery, recreational kits as well as other teaching and learning materials and syllabuses. UNICEF will continue to coordinate the emergency education response through the Education Working Group.

Child Protection: UNICEF will support partners in the provision of psychosocial support and other relevant services, including access to medical services and basic counselling for women and children affected by political violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), children who are outside of a family environment and/or engaged in risky coping behaviour; support tracing and reunification of separated children and families and support community-level peace-building and reconciliation efforts with emphasis on support to the reintegration of adolescents back into the community. UNICEF will intensify its support in training of stakeholders on child protection in emergencies and the Code of Conduct of the IASC Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises.

HIV/AIDS: UNICEF will aim to prevent the transmission of HIV infection among 100,000 most vulnerable children and youths and increase access to quality community home-based care to an estimated 75,000 people living with AIDS through training and provision of palliative care and counselling; distribute supplies for home-based care; support young people in providing community support services targeted towards children affected by HIV; provide orphaned and other vulnerable children (OVC) with psychosocial support, protection, life skills, nutrition, hygiene, education and income-generating activities; continue supporting community youth sports clubs; reprint and distribute 100,000 information, education and communication (IEC) and training materials on HIV/AIDS and SGBV to influence behaviour change amongst young people, community volunteers and OVC.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 40,000,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 20,000,000
Education 25,000,000
Child Protection 1,700,000
HIV/AIDS 1,500,000
Total** 88,200,000

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.