Food distribution in Zimbabwe. Credit: Oxfam
Almost half the population of Zimbabwe is struggling to feed their families.

Humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe

“We’re calling on the new government to enable civil society organizations to be able to carry out our work on the ground freely and effectively.”

Oxfam is working to support over 1 million people affected by a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe.

Hyper-inflation, the impact of HIV and AIDS, and the decline in recent years of commercial farm production, have all led to a widespread lack of food and other essential items across Zimbabwe.

Cholera, a water-borne disease, has surged due to the breakdown of city sewerage systems, poor maintenance of water supply systems including hand pumps, severe drinking water shortages, and the lack of basic hygiene items such as soap.

The situation

  • Zimbabwe's inflation rate is officially 100,000 percent – the highest in the world
  • 80 per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day, without access to basic commodities such as food and water.

As a result Zimbabwe is facing a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions with 5.1 million people, almost half the population, struggling to eat one meal a day.

What Oxfam is doing

Our humanitarian response in Zimbabwe focuses on food security and the provision of water and sanitation for the poorest Zimbabweans.

In October (2008) Oxfam started a six-month food assistance program which will continue until March 2009, delivering 12,000 metric tons of food aid; including maize meal, vegetable oil and pulses. The distributions are being carried out in collaboration with the World Food Program and will reach 150,000 vulnerable people in the districts of Kwekwe, Shurugwi and Chirunmanzu in Midlands province.

We're carrying out an ambitious public health project in six urban areas in Zimbabwe, which is being funded by USAID and OFDA and will respond to the public health needs of nearly half a million people. The project involves distributing non-food items, hygiene education, contingency stocking and water and sanitation provision.

In addition to our humanitarian work, Oxfam continues to work with partners to maintain our long term development programs, which aim to assist Zimbabweans to improve their livelihoods, support those living with HIV and AIDS, prevent the spread of disease, and combat gender violence.

Donate now

You can make a donation to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide, which includes responding in countries such as Zimbabwe.

January 2009

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