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Project report

Distribute food to vulnerable families Zimbabwe , RUN BY: Plan International Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

12-year-old Tshameleni looks after her 3 siblings. The family are recipients of emergency food rations through Plan and the WFP. Photo courtesty of Plan Australia

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 10,001

Raised from 3,998 people

This project report covers Plan's work on the Vulnerable Group Feeding program in Zimbabwe from June 2008 through to Dec 2009.

Case study - 12 year old Tshameleni

Tshameleni is a 12-year-old girl and shared her story with Plan:
‘I stay with my three other siblings who are ten, seven and five. My father died long back, when I was still very young and my mother passed away last year. I am the eldest and therefore had to take care of the other children. It is difficult to look after these children, especially the youngest one who often falls sick. With the current food assistance which we are getting, I have been able to care much better for the siblings. The reduction of the cereal ration size for the past two months from ten to five kilos per person per month has led to insufficient food for the family. Under such circumstances I am happy to say the local community has always been there for us, including support to till the small land which we have and provision of inputs.’

Mr Mahenya, head of the village where Tshameleni and her siblings live, added:

“The community has been assisting once in a while. But, as you know, it has been difficult over the past few months due to the current economic situation. We are happy that this season is more promising and we will be able to assist this household more from our own sources rather than rely on outside assistance always.”

Achievements and challenges: Fin Yr 2009


As Plan’s partner, the World Food Program (WFP) provided the food commodities while Plan was responsible for facilitating household and community processes to identify the most food insecure households at community level. Food was transported by WFP to the Chiredzi warehouse, with Plan food aid staff responsible for management of the food supplies and arrangement of monthly food distributions to agreed food distribution points. Plan staff worked with community food distribution point committees, community members and community leaders to ensure that the food reached the identified households.

Food totalling over 8,865 MT was distributed to over 206,000 people in Chiredzi between October 2008 and March 2009, covering the period when food insecurity was at its worst. The majority of people receiving the food rations were children under 5 and children aged between 5 and 18 years old.


A total of 8865 MT of food was distributed in total. This was less than the 10,700 MT intended, largely due to WFP’s difficulties in providing the planned quantities of food. WFP changed food ration sizes per person on a monthly basis, due to difficulties in providing the commodities, and put a cap on the number of beneficiaries at six people per household from January. From January to March 2009, only 50 per cent of the initial planned cereal food ration was able to be provided due to the shortage in the food available from WFP. This led to additional pressure on food aid program staff to adjust beneficiary registers and produce new ration boards for beneficiaries.

Heavy rains in mid February to early March led to some food distribution points becoming inaccessible, requiring rescheduled distributions and new locations for food distributions, which increased the distance for households to walk to collect the rations. Due to a causeway being washed away, longer routes had to be used by the trucks transporting food to six wards.

Despite the challenges, there was good cooperation extended to Plan in support of the program by a range of stakeholders, including community leaders, the District Council, and various government departments. WFP and Plan maintained regular coordination throughout the planning and implementation period.

Achievements and challenges: Fin Yr 2010 Q2


In FY10 Plan has implemented another program with WFP in Zimbabwe. Thanks to a good agricultural season this year the program was smaller in scale but will have a large impact in ensuring enough food is provided to those most vulnerable such as  households headed by children, the elderly and females so they can survive another hungry season. 

A community empowerment process, that was initiated through the 2008-2009, moved a step further giving full responsibilities to the villages’ assemblies to identify, select and register food insecure households. This was a unique opportunity to provide villagers control and ownership of the registration process. 

Plan Chiredzi District food distribution was targeting 44,401 beneficiaries that were to be registered by communities in nine wards from 313 villages. Each month the amount of beneficiaries increased as food scarcity increased in the hungry season. By the end of December 2009 Plan had a record of 36,652 beneficiaries registered and in Q3 the amount of beneficiaries will increase again to reach the target beneficiaries. By the end of December 2009 the total food distributed was 1,230.788 MT.

Food deliveries from WFP warehouses direct to Chiredzi distribution points and warehouses were satisfactory, reliable and consistent.


The ranking and the registration of the households was not perfect in all villages. Households’ verifications findings showed a small percentage of households’ having sizes inflated, favouritism and some village leadership domination that resulted in re-registration. However, in several communities domination by village leadership was well managed by Field Monitors who ensured that village assemblies had a final voice in the selection and ranking of beneficiaries.

Photo: Plan staff ensure that the food received from WFP is safely stored in a warehouse prior to distribution.

The future of this project

Each year Plan assesses the communities’ needs for emergency food relief so that vulnerable people, especially children, survive the hungry season in Zimbabwe. In conjunction to this work, Plan implements food security programs throughout the year in the hope that one day emergency food relief will no longer be required and the communities have the capability to provide food for their families. It will be assessed later this year as to whether support from Plan and WFP is required.  

This has only been possible with your support.  Thank you for working with us to ensure vulnerable people can survive a difficult situation and provide much needed food relief.  

How was it this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

World Nomads USA
World Nomads Canada
***World Nomads UK
Travel Insurance Direct AU
Travel Insurance Direct NZ
***Short Break Insurance
Plan International Australia

Put simply, we’re the charity for girls’ equality.

We tackle the root causes of poverty, support communities through crises, campaign for gender equality, and help governments do what’s right for children and particularly for girls. We are a secular organisation with no religious or political affiliations.We believe a better world is possible. An equal world; a world where all children can live happy and healthy lives, and where girls can take their rightful place as equals.

Visit: plan.org.au