U.S. partnerships improve food and nutrition security for more than 200,000 vulnerable Zimbabweans

USAID’s two Feed the Future activities aim to reduce rural poverty and increase incomes and food security through increased agricultural production, productivity, and market linkages for small-scale crop farmers and dairy and beef producers.

Birchenough Bridge, March 5, 2020.  The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the achievements of its US$86 million, seven-year project, which supports an innovative and holistic approach towards improving food and nutrition security in Zimbabwe.  Between 2013 and 2020, the Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resilience and Enterprise (ENSURE) project assisted more than 200,000 vulnerable Zimbabweans in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces to improve their nutritional status, increase their agricultural productivity, and become more resilient in the face of economic and natural disasters.

USAID/Zimbabwe Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience Office Director, Jason Taylor, said, “Our joint efforts on food security are an opportunity for Zimbabweans in drought-prone areas to become more self-reliant.  As we celebrate USAID’s ENSURE project, let me reiterate that our partnership is about strengthening a firm foundation on which the people of Zimbabwe can stand as they move forward towards greater economic empowerment.”

USAID partnered with World Vision and six local organizations to implement ENSURE.  The innovative and holistic approach of the program, joined vital food assistance with promotion of economic growth opportunities and emphasis on nutrition and hygiene.

To mitigate the stress associated with the time in between harvests, USAID partners worked with village savings and loan groups, where over 17,000 participating farmers saved approximately US$2.3 million and channeled their savings into income generating activities.  More than 100,000 women and children received supplementary food rations, and health and nutrition training.

The ENSURE project helped improve the nutrition of over 39,000 children under the age of five to help them reach their full potential.  As a result, the prevalence of stunting decreased from 28.1 percent in 2014 to 19.7 percent at the end of the project. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding of children under six months increased from 35.8 percent in 2014 to 60.6 percent in 2019.

For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over $3.2 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe.  Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote democratic governance.

For additional information, please contact Information Officer Stacy Lomba at HararePAS@state.gov or Development Outreach and Communications Specialist Doreen Hove at dhove@usaid.gov.