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Doreen Mangwadi © Action contre la Faim Zimbabwe



Cash distributions to most vulnerable households

In collaboration with its partners, Nutrition Action Zimbabwe (NAZ) and Africa Ahead (AA) and with funding of ECHO, Action contre la Faim has launched a project responding to the rapidly evolving situation. The project is a multi-sector emergency intervention targeting vulnerable households in the urban areas of Mutare and Chiredzi Districts, in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces of Zimbabwe.

The action aims to increase resilience and reduce reliance on vulnerable households’ negative coping strategies, especially in urban areas. The intervention’s logic is to ensure that the most vulnerable people have access to food and essential services, so they do not slip further into extreme poverty and adopt extreme coping mechanisms jeopardizing their dignity, health and life.


Before my husband died nine years ago, we used to play guitar for people to get money, but then he got sick, and we couldn’t go out together anymore. I decided to go alone and sit at the veranda of the supermarket in town to beg. I am blind, l cannot do some other things, but God sent an angel to give us money to buy food when we were starvingWe have prioritized mobile money transfers in the context of COVID-19. It is unconditional and multi-purpose cash, meaning we leave it open to the household to prioritize what they buy, be it food, healthcare, school fees, etc.”  – Nzwisisai Mugwinyi, 57-year-old single mother living with three children in one room in Chiredzi.


Cash transfers to make ends meet


The project provides 13,000 highly vulnerable people with five months’ worth of cash transfers, allowing them to meet their basic food needs and access essential services. Where markets are functional, cash allows beneficiaries to prioritize their own needs and stimulate the local economy. 

"We hope that with this assistance, households will be able to survive and support their recovery and potentially start new livelihood activities"
Calvine Matsinde, Food Security and Livelihoods Programme Manager of NAZ

“These may be very small-scale, but it will make a difference at the end of the day since the lockdown has prevented many people – particularly in urban areas – from working. They have lost their income, property, and resources, so at least now they can buy food.” – Calvine Matsinde, Food Security and Livelihoods Programme Manager of NAZ

Before COVID-19 we used to do part time jobs and sell vegetables. Thanks to the help, we are now able to buy meals, cooking oil, rice and vegetables. In July I bought a water meter worth $40 and medicines for three ill children.” – Dorcas Marange, 56 year old single parent living with 17 children in a 5 roomed house in Mutare

Beneficiaries are trained in the use of mobile money to increase digital literacy and are supported by continuous training for the duration of the intervention. We are also taking the opportunity to trigger behavior change related to food consumption patterns and hygiene practices.

Eritha Sharu © Action contre la Faim Zimbabwe
IMG_0233 © Action contre la Faim Zimbabwe

“We support them through activities that will help to strengthen their capacity to make good choices when it comes to household nutrition so that as we improve access to food we also ensure improved dietary diversity. Overall we seek to ensure they have food on the table, and the right kind.” – Calvine Matsinde

The action has been informed by national and regional rapid assessments and monitoring processes conducted by NAZ teams on the ground to monitor the food security situation and provide guidance for appropriate interventions to support affected communities.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) reinforced its support to Action Against Hunger and its partners to also respond to the health crisis with WASH support to prioritized district health care facilities as well as Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) supplies, equipment and training to key health care personnel.

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