Famine relief in Zimbabwe

Famine in Zimbabwe Photo credit: IRIN

Famine in Zimbabwe
Photo credit: IRIN

Title Famine relief in Zimbabwe
Description A feeding scheme and seed distribution programme for subsistence farmers helped 4,200 people suffering from food insecurity.
Status Completed
Dates Start: November 2009; End: December 2010
Implementing partner National Baptist Convention of Zimbabwe
Location Matabeleland South province, Zimbabwe
Sector Relief


Political strife, economic mismanagement and increasing international isolation have resulted, over the last few years, in food shortages across Zimbabwe. With access to staple food becoming more difficult and ordinary people less able to afford inflated prices, Cyan partners on the ground needed assistance in responding to some very basic needs.


The National Baptist Convention of Zimbabwe (NBCZ) is a grassroots network of churches whose members and leadership are deeply involved in the realities of daily life for ordinary Zimbabweans. It has a proven record of providing effective, localised aid where it is most needed and culturally informed, socially responsible interventions.


Zimbabwe food  Photo Credit: IRIN

Zimbabwe food
Photo Credit: IRIN

Two Cyan grants, in November 2009 and October 2010, supported a range of responses to Zimbabwe’s growing food crisis.

  • A supplementary feeding scheme in the arid south, where 50 per cent of children are malnourished, provided meals for 1,500 young people. The intervention was timed to coincide for a point in the year when food stores are depleted and the new harvest has not yet come.  This was repeated for a further 1,200 children over 12 weeks in 2010.
  • A seed-distribution programme across seven districts targeted subsistence farmers, supplying them with 10kg of maize each. As part of the scheme, each farmer was required to return 20kg of seed to form a seed bank for future years.


Cyan’s targeted, local-led response significantly impacted the lives of 2,700 Zimbabwean children and 350 subsistence farmers and their families. Our partnership with NBCZ has helped with the generation of hope for a total of 4,200 people.

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