International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Zimbabwe

Tatenda Gonye leads a health education session
The IRC's Tatenda Gonye leads a health education session on how to prevent and treat cholera in a rural community in eastern Zimbabwe. (Photo: Ingrid Kelters/IRC)

The people of Zimbabwe have faced several crises in the last decade: economic free-fall and disintegrating public services, food and fuel scarcity and a number of health emergencies. A 2008 power-sharing agreement adopted by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and Arthur Mutambara’s MDC-M created hope for change. However, the new Government of National Unity still faces significant challenges in re-starting the country’s economy and delivering quality public services to its people.The IRC is responding with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to provide clean water and sanitation services, and to make sure that hundreds of thousands of refugees have the basic tools and services they need to stay healthy and move forward.  

How We Help

The IRC began its work in Zimbabwe in 2008 in response to the cholera outbreak that claimed more than 4,000 lives.  The IRC now serves hundreds of thousands of people in Zimbabwe, continuing to improve access to high-quality health care and educating people about the importance of good hygiene and sanitation to keep cholera and other disease under control. Students have embraced the importance of healthy living and have started school hygiene clubs to educate others and help bring in clean water and better facilities. The IRC has also expanded its work to spur economic recovery and development for Zimbabwe’s future growth. To make sure these improvements continue, the IRC works closely with the government, local community organizations and local authorities, creating institutions to maintain Zimbabwe’s improved health and development.