Coordination mechanism: Sector
Year of activation: 2021
NCC: MoH lead sector coordination with UNICEF Nutrition Manager double-hatting as support
Co_Lead: GOAL Zimbabwe
IMO: Currently no IMO
Sub-clusters activated at the provincial level.

Country Key Contacts

Vengai Taremba

Nutrition Sector Coordinator vtaremba@unicef.org

Annual report 2023

January to December 2023

Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO)

Link to HNO (not available yet)

The nutrition situation in Zimbabwe is precarious and influenced by poor quality of diets with a lack of protein and micronutrients for adequate growth (child minimum acceptable diet is 11%); low rates of exclusive breastfeeding (42%) exposing infants to increased levels of infection at an early age; high levels of low birthweight (8.7%) perpetuating the inter-generational effects of malnutrition; maternal malnutrition including micronutrient deficiencies (32% of pregnant women are anemic); lack of safe water and basic sanitation services; high prevalence of common childhood diseases (including a measles outbreak during 2022 caused by a drop in vaccination coverage following the C-19 pandemic) and a loss of livelihoods due to the current economic situation in Zimbabwe, the effects of the C-19 pandemic, the long-term effects of climate change and the war in Ukraine, all compounding to affect household purchasing power and choice of foods. On top of this food insecurity is projected to increase in 2022-2023 following a below average agricultural season, and the nutrition sector is preparing for a potential increase in cases of wasting over the hunger gap period (Nov 22 - Mar 23).


As the nutrition cluster lead, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) to implement a multi-sectoral approach to prevent all forms of malnutrition, through the national Care Group platform. Support is targeted to pregnant women and mothers of children less than 2 years old aiming to improve infant and young child feeding practices, responsive care-giving and nurturing care, identify and treat cases of wasting early (through Family MUAC), improve hygiene and sanitation practices, and provide linkages with agricultural support and interventions. In addition, UNICEF supports MoHCC to carry out active MUAC screening to monitor the nutrition situation and identify and refer children in need of treatment for wasting and to ensure availability of treatment for wasting in all health facilities across the country. In 2022-23, 38 high-priority districts have been identified for emergency preparedness based on the levels of wasting as per the ZimVAC 2022. There are 19,775 children estimated to be in need of treatment for severe wasting (across the country), and 1,130,790 children in need of VAS (target for 2023 - 565,395 recieving 2 doses) and screening for wasting, and 400,205 PLW in need of counselling for improved IYCF practices (target for 2023 - 300,154).

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. Urban nutrition outcomes were more affected.
  • 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 systems with the innovative RapidPro system being affected by the service provider's technical issues
Advocacy, Intersectoral Collaboration and Preparedness
Advocacy Survey
Country Advocacy Strategy developedNo
Link to document 
Advocacy activities included in annual work planYes
Specific WG leading advocacy work establishedYes
Contingency plan or ERP plan developed/updatedYes
Link to documentLink
Intersectoral Collaboration (ISC)
Intersectoral projects currently under implementationYes
Clusters engaged
Social Policy, WASH and Child Protection

Key Figures



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

Total partners (17)

Total Partners

UN agencies


to receive GNC newsletters