Social Protection in Africa
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Social Protection in Africa

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

The purpose of this book is to make accessible to a broad audience the ideas, principles and practicalities of establishing effective social protection in Africa. It focuses on the major shift in strategy for tackling hunger and vulnerability, from emergency responses mainly in the form of food transfers to predictable cash transfers to the chronically poorest social groups. The diverse case studies in this book provide a unique and timely exploration of the effective, and less effective, ways that social transfers are delivered to the chronically poor and vulnerable in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Chapter 16: Case Study 6. Urban Food Programme, Zimbabwe

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White


OVERVIEW The Urban Food Programme (UFP) in Zimbabwe is a food delivery and food voucher programme implemented by AAI that also includes other activities, namely low input gardens, and capacity building and training with local partners. The programme comes under the umbrella of DFID Zimbabwe’s Protracted Relief Programme (PRP). The purpose of PRP is to stabilize food security and protect the livelihoods of vulnerable households in Zimbabwe, particularly those affected by HIV/AIDS. PRP is implemented by 12 NGOs (of which AAI is one) and their local partners. In the UFP, AAI has pioneered the use of food vouchers as a means of ensuring stable food and grocery supplies to recipients in conditions of hyperinflation, steeply deteriorating exchange rates, and macroeconomic instability. In 2007, the food voucher was worth £9.00 sterling (US$18) per month. The voucher provides beneficiaries with a basket of commodities designed to fulfil nutritional as well as non-food basic needs (see Box C6.1). The CSB nutritional supplement is delivered directly to beneficiaries by AAI partners; it is not collected at retailers with the other voucher items. At its peak the UFP reached 3145 beneficiaries; however, erosion of the real value of its external resources, due to exchange rate and inflation effects, meant that by 2007 it was only able to reach 2000 beneficiaries. Initially AAI started with food deliveries, but then shifted towards food vouchers that could be redeemed by recipients at local supermarkets. This switch reflected...

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