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Coordination mechanism: Cluster
Year of activation: 2019
NCC: UNICEF Nutrition Specialist double hatting as cluster coordinator. MoH colleagues supporting in coordination.
Co_Lead: GOAL Zimbabwe
IMO: National Officer as IMO
Sub-clusters activated at the provincial level.

Country Key Contacts

Nakai Munikwa

Information Management Officer

Thokozile Ncube

Nutrition Specialist

Mid-year report 2021

January to June 2021

Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO)

Link to HNO (not available yet)

More than 1 million children under age 5 and 381,843 pregnant and lactating women are in need of nutrition assistance in Zimbabwe in 2021. The number of pregnant and lactating women in need was calculated on the basis of 50 percent of women with poor dietary diversity in the selected districts with the highest global acute malnutrition (GAM). Twelve districts in Zimbabwe have GAM levels above the 5 percent threshold level, according to the ZimVAC. Approximately 74,267 children under age 5 are affected by acute malnutrition, including at least 38,425 facing severe acute malnutrition (SAM). More than 1,200,000 children between 6 and 23 months have shown poor dietary practices; poor quality diets and feeding practices put these children at risk of stunted growth, which affects their development and well-being in adulthood. In 2020, 69 percent of households faced difficulties in accessing food and food products during the 2019 COVID 19 lockdown. Women from food-insecure households had a lower Women Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS) (2.19) as compared to those from food-secure households (2.38). Only 26.1 percent of food-insecure households are likely to consume protein-rich foods and only 11 percent are likely to consume iron-rich foods in comparison to 35.2 percent and 18.8 percent in food-secure households, respectively. Only 2.1 percent of children in Zimbabwe were consuming the Minimum Accepted Diet (MAD) in 2020, compared to 6.9 percent in 2019, while the proportion of women of childbearing age consuming minimum dietary diversity more than halved from 43 percent in 2019 to 19 percent in 2020. Reducing the number of meals per day and reducing meal portion sizes were reported as the most common coping strategies. This is particularly concerning given that without adequate diversity and meal frequency, infants and young children are vulnerable to malnutrition, especially stunting and micronutrient deficiencies, and to increased morbidity and mortality. Cereal insecure households are particularly likely to experience acute malnutrition and pellagra, which is on the rise in urban areas. Access to health services—a key entry point for nutrition
services—was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 35 percent of rural households experienced difficulties
in accessing health services, according to the ZimVAC and, according to the health information system (DHIS2) data from April to August 2020, there was a sharp decline in Vitamin A supplementation and antenatal care (ANC) 4th visit as well as a sharp rise in home deliveries.

Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP)
Current Challenges
  • The financial requirements of the nutrition cluster in Zimbabwe have not been met thereby crippling the emergency response. The HRP for 2021 was not officially launched in Zimbabwe making it difficult to use it as a fund-raising tool. 
  • There are disruptions of health and nutrition services due to Covid19 containment restrictions which have resulted in lower quality of nutrition services; less than expected SAM admissions, less than optimal recovery rates as well as lower than expected vitamin A supplementation coverage
  • Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for Village Health Workers (VHWs) and Health facility staff to continue nutrition services in the context of Covid-19. 
  • Although nutrition commodities were generally available at the national level, there were challenges of inconsistent distribution and supply chain with some facilities reporting stock-outs of RUTF and MNPs, hence the need for stronger liaison with the logistics team at Provincial and National levels
  • Data quality has remained a challenge both in the routine and emergency sysytems with the innovative RapidPro system being affected by the service provider's technical issues

Key Figures in 2021


Funding in 2021

Number of SAM under-five children in need 2021
Number of MAM under-five children in need 2021
Number of children 6-23 months in need of BSFP- Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme 2021
Number of children 6-59 months in need of Vitamin A Supplementation 2021
Number of children 6-59 months in need of Micronutrient Powder Supplementation 2021
Number of PLW counselled (one-on-one) on IYCF 2021
Number of moderately acutely malnourished PLW in need 2021
Number of moderately acutely malnourished PLW in need Of BSFP 2021
Number of PW in need of iron/folate supplementation 2021

Total partners (17)

Total Partners

National NGOs
International NGOs
UN agencies
Government authorities


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