Urban Food Security and Resilience Building programme

Drawing on learnings by Switzerland in rural areas in Zimbabwe, this program addresses food insecurity in 3 secondary cities through a contribution to a World Food Programme initiative that combines humanitarian and resilience building solutions. Focused on the latter, this contribution provides food insecure urban people a comprehensive support including skills, finance and market linkages aimed at more gainful agriculture. It also supports the coordination and strengthening of related stakeholders, including policy makers.  

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Landwirtschaft und Ernährungssicherheit
Beschäftigung & Wirtschaftsentwicklung
Ernährungssicherheit der Haushalte
Städtische Entwicklung
Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen
15.10.2020 - 31.10.2024
CHF  8’100’000
Hintergrund Urban food insecurity and poverty have seen a sharp increase across Zimbabwe. The majority of the urban poor in Zimbabwe make a living in the informal economy, a precarious form of work. This income is often complemented by proceeds – in the form of food or money – from urban agriculture. While agriculture has been present within urban spaces for decades, it has been viewed as a rather trivial activity in terms of its contribution to employment and income and the urban economy overall. Due to the decades’ long nationwide decrease in agricultural production, imported essential have become unaffordable to the average low-income urban household. Since 2018, the World Food Programme has implemented the Urban Food Security and Resilience Building Programme with the goal of improving urban food security in the face of shocks and stresses with improved coping strategies. Local government authorities play a key role in identification of hotspots in urban areas and are engaged throughout the beneficiary targeting and verification process. Local authorities are also key actors in creating an enabling environment for promoting urban agriculture, providing communal spaces for infrastructure investments, capacity building of local officials, and integrating with other government-led social assistance programmes. Switzerland will draw on its extensive experience of supporting resilience building in rural areas and leverage its position as an experienced actor in the resilience and nexus programming space in the country to increase government and development partner support for investments in urban areas and within broader city region food systems.

The goal of the Urban Food Security and Resilience Building Programme is Food security in targeted urban and rural domains in Zimbabwe is maintained or improved in the face of shocks and stresses with improved coping strategies.

The goal of the Swiss contribution to this program is: To make urban communities in the cities of Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare resilient to economic and climate shocks through a community-led approach of capacity building, livelihoods promotion, and socio-economic empowerment.  


The Swiss contribution will directly impact 10,000 and indirectly impact 40,000 foodinsecure people in three urban areas/secondary cities (Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare), with the majority belonging to the most left behind groups and facing multiple forms of marginalization based on their age, gender, health status, location, etc.

Government actors (including policy makers) will not only play a key role in programme implementation but also be a direct target group through receiving capacity strengthening support.  

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

1.    Effective delivery of cash-based transfers to the most food insecure and vulnerable individuals in 10 targeted urban domains; 

2.    Improvement of absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities of food-insecure and vulnerable urban individuals, households, and communities through resilience-building actions complementary to cash-based transfers; 

3.    Building capacity of local stakeholders and strengthening integration with the Government of Zimbabwe’s national social protection policies.

The Swiss contribution focuses on Outcomes 2 and 3. 


Erwartete Resultate:   6 demonstration plots set up and 3 farmer cooperatives established; 3,000 farmers trained on climate-smart agriculture; 2,500 farmers provided with micro cash grants; 2,000 food supply chain actors received entrepreneurship and business management training; 500 Community Savings and Loans group members trained on risk mitigation and community resilience; Three private sectorfarmer cooperative dialogue forums carried out; 30,000 beneficiaries benefitting from communal infrastructure investments; energy efficient stoves provided to 6,000 households; 100 government officials trained on urban agriculture and resilience building; Three evidence-based research briefs produced; Nine webinars organized for information sharing; disseminating and sharing project learnings on urban resilience building . 

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

The programme pilot has been successfully implemented since 2018 in one urban area (Epworth) with funding from the Department for International Development and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. Key results included: 18’990 people received USD 9 for 4 months (covering 62% of their food basket); 3’798 people were reached through resilience interventions and urban mushroom farming, with increased incomes used for school fees, rentals and medical bills.

The following insights emerged: complexity of urban governance, the importance of stakeholder mapping, the need for innovative livelihoods opportunities and for multitiered programming, innovative beneficiary mobilisation methodologies in urban areas, gender and marginalised groups programming and the important benefits of disaster risk reduction.  

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Organisation der Vereinten Nationen (UNO)
  • Ausländischer Privatsektor Süden/Osten
  • World Food Programme

Andere Partner
World Food Programme WFP
Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren

Swiss supported projects : R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, Opportunities for Youth Employment  and Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis, Urban Food Security and Resilience Programme.

Government at the national and local levels Private sector. 

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    8’100’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    7’165’886
Projektphasen Phase 1 15.10.2020 - 31.10.2024   (Laufende Phase)