Cablegate: Un Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: UN Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe

REFS: (A) Pretoria 03546; (B) Harare 01345;
(C) Harare 01880


1. The UN formally launched the stand-alone Consolidated
Appeal (CAP) for Zimbabwe in September. While
acknowledging the after effects of the last three years
of drought, the CAP notes that Zimbabwe's humanitarian
crisis has largely been man-made and that moving beyond
emergency to recovery would only be viable if a wide
range of policy reforms took place. The CAP addresses the
short term and focuses on mitigation of the current
crisis. Unlike the recovery in food security among the
other five countries in the region, Zimbabwe's situation
remains grave, is deteriorating further, particularly in
urban areas, and accounts for more than half of the aid
requested in the UN Southern Africa Regional Consolidated
Appeal. The USG response to the CAP will presumably match
or possibly exceed those of last year. It is hoped that
the on going dialogue between UN and GOZ will resolve
issues raised by recent GOZ attempts to acquire greater
direct government control over the delivery of
humanitarian assistance.


2. The UN formally launched the stand-alone Consolidated
Appeal (CAP) for Zimbabwe in September. The Zimbabwe CAP,
in abbreviated form, had already been included as part of
the UN Southern Africa Regional Consolidated Appeal for
the period of July 2003 through June 2004, released in
late July (Reftel A) after the GOZ request for assistance
(Reftel B) was received.

3. The regional appeal focuses on six countries affected
by food insecurity, extreme poverty, and HIV/AIDS:
Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and
Zimbabwe. The total requested amount of the 2003/04
regional appeal is USD 530 million, a decrease from the
2002/03 revised appeal of USD 656 million. The decrease
reflects the general improvement in food production in
the region. Zimbabwe is the exception. Of the USD 530
million requested in the regional appeal, USD 308 million
is for food aid through the World Food Program (WFP) EMOP
(Emergency Operation). Of that USD 308 million, almost
two-thirds, USD 195 million, is for food aid to Zimbabwe
alone. The Zimbabwe CAP primarily addresses non-food
emergency assistance in agriculture, coordination,
economic recovery, education, health, protection/human
rights and water/sanitation. NGOs account for
approximately 30 percent of the project proposals
included in the CAP, while UN agencies account for the
remainder. The total request for non-food assistance for
2003/04 is nearly USD 114 million.
4. While acknowledging the after-effects of last year's
drought, the CAP notes that Zimbabwe's humanitarian
crisis has largely been man-made. "What initially
appeared as a food crisis in Zimbabwe in 2002 has turned
into a major humanitarian emergency due to the
deteriorating economy, immense policy constraints, the
devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, and depleted capacity in
the social service sector," the appeal says. The country
is in its fifth successive year of economic decline and
"faces critical shortages of foreign exchange to maintain
essential infrastructure, fuel and energy needs"
resulting, in large part, from the effects of the
government's fast-track land reform program.
5. Zimbabwe will have an estimated 5.5 million people in
need of food aid during the height of the lean season,
despite recoveries in most other countries affected by
last year's food shortages. As of the end of June, the
inflation rate was conservatively estimated at 364
percent and is forecast to top 500 percent by the end of
the year. The industrial and agricultural sectors have
been severely undermined by the state of the macro-
economy, causing mass unemployment and worsening rural
and urban poverty," the document notes. State control of
prices, currency exchange rates and a monopoly on the
import and marketing of maize and wheat are
characteristics of an "economic framework within which
the economy has contracted by one-third in four years".
This had contributed to greater vulnerability as
"structural unemployment is estimated at over 70 percent,
and rising, as the major sectors generating employment"
and foreign exchange continue to contract.
6. The CAP also notes that loss of skills in the health
and social services sector due to emigration and HIV/AIDS
is yet another factor aggravating the crisis. The need
for the GOZ to assume responsibility for responding to
the humanitarian crisis and its continued lack of
cooperation with humanitarian agencies are also
highlighted in the appeal.
7. The 2003/04 CAP concentrates on three main areas of
humanitarian response: (1) preventing loss of life
through food, nutrition, and critical health
interventions; (2) mitigating the impact of the crisis on
vulnerable groups; and (3) developing a productive
dialogue among stakeholders to strengthen coordination
and provide focus. While noting that recovery
interventions and policies are essential to reducing
Zimbabwe's reliance on international relief assistance
and strengthening food security, the CAP further states
that recovery would only be viable if a wide range of
policy reforms should take place.

8. WFP's new EMOP includes plans to distribute
approximately 450,000 MTs of food in Zimbabwe between
July 2003 and June 2004, of which about 110,000 MTs will
be covered by carryover commodities from its previous
EMOP. The USG, through USAID/DCHA's Office of Food for
Peace, has traditionally provided between 40 to 50
percent of WFP's requirements and it is anticipated that
it will continue to cover this proportion of WFP's net
additional needs for the new EMOP. The C-SAFE program,
which is fully funded by USAID, also plans to distribute
an additional 100,000 MTs in rural areas during this
period through targeted free distributions, food-for-work
programs and supplementary feeding. Further, it is
anticipated that C-SAFE's Market Intervention Pilot
Program in Bulawayo will provide 20,000 MTs of sorghum
through January 2004. Depending on the success of this
pilot program, tonnage may be increased, if the program
continues beyond January 2004 and expands into other
urban areas.


9. The OFDA EDRC/Harare participated actively in the CAP
process, attending the CAP training workshop, follow-up
strategy sessions and subsequent sector working groups
with other donor representatives, NGOs and UN agencies.
The USG, through USAID/DCHA's Office for Foreign Disaster
Assistance (OFDA), is concentrating its response to the
humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe in geographical areas
particularly hard hit by the crisis in the following
-- nutrition interventions through supplementary feeding
programs targeted at children under five and school-age
-- agricultural inputs, particularly seeds and technical
support, for subsistence farming in communal areas to
foster self-sufficiency;
-- micro-irrigation projects in areas of chronic drought
and in support of the food security needs of certain
vulnerable populations, such as HIV/AIDs-affected
households and orphan- and elderly-headed households;
-- support (food and non-food) to internally displaced
persons (IDPs), especially ex-commercial farm workers;
-- rehabilitation of existing water and sanitation
infrastructure in areas suffering most from the residual
effects of drought;
-- monitoring the humanitarian response, principally
through non-governmental agencies, and including periodic
UN-supported food security and nutrition surveys and
needs assessments; and
-- UN coordination and information dissemination of the
humanitarian response through support to its Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

10. Approximately USD 6.5 million of OFDA FY03 funds have
been programmed in support of UN and NGO initiatives in
these areas, with a similar amount under consideration
for FY04.


11. Although the Consolidated Appeal for Zimbabwe has
come late in terms of planning humanitarian activities
for the coming year, particularly for agricultural
interventions, it remains a valuable document. The
analysis of the current situation and humanitarian needs
in country was arrived at through a highly collaborative
and thorough process led by UNOCHA and reflect consensus
among UN agencies, donors and NGOs. In its role as an
analytical and planning tool the CAP is perhaps more
viable than it is as a fund-raising instrument. Although
some donors require a CAP in order to respond to
humanitarian requirements, much funding, including almost
all USG non-food assistance through OFDA, was
provisionally programmed for FY03 before the CAP was
officially launched. It is important to note, however,
that OFDA programming reflected almost all the same
assessments and sector priorities as those outlined in
the CAP. The Mission has communicated to the UN offices
in Zimbabwe that the USG response to the non-food
requests in the CAP will consist of the assistance
outlined in paragraph 9, funded largely through NGO
partners. It is likely that any additional OFDA funding
for FY04 will also be funded directly with NGO partners,
"outside of the CAP." We have not publicly announced the
extent of the USG contribution so as not to assure the
GOZ that USG resources are a given no matter what policy
positions the GOZ might ultimately take.

12. The Mission believes that the USG food and non-food
assistance outlined above, together with assistance to be
provided by other key donors (EU, DfID) meets the
critical minimal relief requirements of the 2003/04
Consolidated Appeal, at least through the end of the
current CY (December 2003). Additional proposals for non-
food assistance are currently under consideration and
will continue to be concentrated in emergency activities
in food security, nutrition, water/sanitation,
agricultural inputs, monitoring response activities, and
coordination and information.

13. Recent attempts by the GOZ to acquire greater direct
government control over the direction and distribution of
humanitarian assistance (Reftel C) jeopardized ongoing
efforts to mitigate the suffering of Zimbabweans in need
(both food and non-food) to already acutely vulnerable
populations. It is hoped that during the current dialogue
between the UN and the GOZ, there will emerge mutually
agreed upon operational norms for the delivery of
humanitarian assistance in accordance with established
humanitarian principles.

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