Human Development Index
150 (out of 189 countries ranked)
People Helped in 2019: 31,085
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs
Since its independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has experienced a tense political environment and an unstable economy. To tackle its financial challenges, the country is creating initiatives to rejuvenate the economy, including replacing the national currency with the American dollar for international trade. While the economy has improved significantly in recent years, the public health situation continues to deteriorate. High rates of malnutrition, alarming numbers of HIV and AIDS cases, and frequent cholera outbreaks are huge humanitarian challenges.
Many Zimbabweans suffer from malnutrition coupled with HIV/AIDS infections, but the country’s massively deteriorated public health system is not properly equipped to handle this double threat. Since Action Against Hunger started in Zimbabwe in 2002, we have committed to integrating HIV and AIDS education and treatment in all of the programs that we conduct. Approximately 70% of patients diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition also have HIV/AIDS, and our nutrition programs are specifically designed to treat this particularly vulnerable group.
In Zimbabwe, 3.6% of children children under five are acutely malnourished and 1.6% suffer from severe acute malnutrition, the deadliest form of hunger. In 2019, food insecurity increased sharply following several destructive economic and climatic shocks. The agricultural sector suffered heavy losses due to Cyclone Idai and droughts caused by the El Nino climate phenomenon. Because of the current disastrous agricultural and macro-economic situation, 38% of Zimbabweans were in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Autumn 2019.
Action Against Hunger and its partners, Africa Ahead Zimbabwe and Nutrition Action Zimbabwe, responded to Cyclone Idai through an emergency food assistance intervention and a cash transfer project in the Chipinge region, one of the most affected areas. To cover basic nutrition needs, Action Against Hunger and NAZ provided cash transfers to help families cope with the prolonged drought and macroeconomic crisis. Our teams also distributed emergency sanitation kits to 6,000 people to help prevent the spread of disease.