Related photos
of 2
Reference : V-P-ZW-E-00091
Date : 08/2010
Country/Region : ZIMBABWE
Caption : Masvingo province, Masvingo city, Masvingo remand prison. An ICRC delegate is weighing the food rations to make sure they correspond to the standards jointly decided by the ICRC and the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS).
Photographer : MOECKLI, Olivier
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : Photo taken between the 4th and the 6th of August 2010. On the picture: Amaya Fernandez Gordillo ICRC delegate.

ICRC nutritionists have made regular missions to the prisons since 2009 to establish with the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) an appropriate diet, to continue the monitoring of the nutritional situation and to suggest possible improvements whenever needed.

At the end of 2008, a combination of poor harvests, a cholera outbreak and dire economic problems in the country had led to severe malnutrition and widespread health problems in Zimbabwe prisons. Following a formal agreement in March 2009, the ICRC began visiting prisoners in Ministry of Justice-run prisons to assess their treatment and conditions.

The ICRC launched an emergency assistance operation to support the ZPS in improving the nutritional status of prisoners. This assistance included therapeutic feeding for acutely malnourished prisoners and general food distributions to prevent further malnourishment.

Over time, in cooperation with the ZPS, the ICRC has taken further steps to improve conditions of detention in prisons countrywide, broadening the scope of its activities. While still helping to improve the nutritional situation and food supply, it is also strengthening the cooking capacity in prisons and providing blankets and hygiene items. It is improving water and sanitation conditions and boosting preparedness for outbreaks of diseases, such as cholera. The organization is also improving prisoners' access to health care.

In 2010, the ICRC maintained monthly or bi-monthly visits to 26 of the 46 prisons of the country, holding in total over 10,000 prisoners, more than 70 per cent of the overall prison population. It also carried out ad-hoc visits in the remaining prisons. Teams of protection, medical, economic security, and water and sanitation delegates conduct these visits and share their recommendations with the concerned authorities.

Beyond material conditions of detention, monitoring has also focused on access to basic judicial guarantees, general treatment, holding capacity and the conditions of particularly vulnerable groups like minors, mental health cases and women.

The ICRC continued to supplement the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) diet by providing beans and oil in 17 of the largest prisons, covering in average a population of 8,300 prisoners, or nearly 65 per cent of the total population. Since June 2010, it added groundnuts to its assistance, in order to further strengthen protection against pellagra.

Original material : digital
Resolution : 4200x2800
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour