Amalima is a 7-year (2013 – 2020), $60 million, USAID Food for Peace-funded program that aims to sustainably improve household food security by increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing community resilience to economic and climatic shocks, and improving nutrition and health among pregnant and lactating women and children under two.

Amalima is the Ndebele word for the social contract by which community members come together to help each other engage in productive activities such as land cultivation, livestock tending, and asset building. It represents the spirit of the program which enables beneficiaries to control their own development, working together in a collaborative way to support each other to become more resilient and prosperous.

The program seeks to achieve three strategic objectives (SO):


Improve household access to and availability of food


Improve community resilience to shocks


Improve nutrition and health among pregnant and lactating women (PLW); and boys and girls under 2

The project is implemented by CNFA as the prime implementer, ORAP, Dabane Water Workshops, International Medical Corps (IMC), AfriCare, and the Manoff Group.

CNFA, an international NGO that specializes in agricultural development, is the prime implementer of the Amalima program and serves as technical lead for SO1 and SO2, working with local partners and counterparts, to improve crop and livestock production and marketing. CNFA’s focus is on promoting food security through increased adoption of climate smart agricultural practices and drought-tolerant crops, while increasing incomes with Farming as a Business training, improved marketing opportunities, and village savings and lending groups for investment in income generating activities. CNFA also oversaw the grants, household asset voucher program, and community asset development using the cash for assets methodology.

ORAP is a Zimbabwean grassroots organization with significant food security programming experience and deep ties to communities in Matabeleland North and South through its rural village association membership network. In Amalima, ORAP is responsible for community mobilization, field-level technical assistance, and the distribution of food rations to households with pregnant and lactating women and children under two.

IMC an international NGO that specializes in health and nutrition, leads the implementation of SO3, which uses a 1,000 days approach to prevent malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age. IMC also leads WASH promotion and nutrition education elements of the program.

The Manoff Group is a woman-owned small business that provides development assistance in communications and behavior-centered programming in nutrition and child and maternal health. Under Amalima, the Manoff Group implements the social and behavior change strategy to support nutrition, maternal and child health activities, and agricultural activities.

Dabane Water Workshops is a leading Zimbabwe-based NGO specializing in the development of sustainable water supply systems in arid environments and provides specialized technical and engineering support to the project in the development of community-managed water supply systems such as dams and solar-powered irrigation systems.

Africare, is an international NGO that builds sustainable healthy and productive communities, implements natural resource management and disaster risk reduction activities under SO1. Africare also supports the program’s commodity management and environmental compliance functions.

The program targets poor and vulnerable households with a variety of interventions to promote food and nutrition security and resilience, including cash for assets activities, agriculture and livelihoods support, household asset vouchers, village savings and lending groups, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, and health and nutrition promotion activities. Amalima uses a 1,000 days approach specifically targeting pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age with interventions to prevent malnutrition and stunting. Amalima’s feeding program provides a ration of corn-soy blend+ and fortified vegetable oil to this target population, which is meant to be a supplement their monthly food basket with critical macro and micronutrients to prevent stunting in young children.

The program has developed and utilized an adaptive management and learning approach to address the complex challenges facing the poorest of the poor in rural Matabeleland, adjusting strategies and program activities over the course of implementation. This approach has allowed the Amalima team to pivot quickly to address changing dynamics such as prolonged drought, economic shocks, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Amalima program is implemented in four districts in Zimbabwe. These districts experience prolonged dry spells, erratic rainfall, droughts, increased livelihood vulnerability, food insecurity, chronic poverty and malnutrition. The district maps showcase the community assets that were developed or rehabilitated by the program.


Bulilima District

The main livelihoods in the district are livestock production, crop production, casual labor, informal employment, cross border trading and remittances. The district experiences high rates of stunting mainly due to poor infant and young child feeding practices.

Mangwe District

Subsistence farming is the major economic activity with other planted crops being groundnuts, round nuts and cowpeas. Failure to access inputs and labor have been cited as reasons for the lack of full land utilization, including erratic weather patterns during the last few years.

Gwanda District

Livestock production is practiced by many farmers, but is severely limited by lack of sufficient, good quality grazing or fodder, issues of disease and parasite control, and unmanaged breeding practices. Stunting is a challenge.

Tsholotsho District

The district has the least developed infrastructure, economic and natural resources in the Matabeleland North Province. The district is very dry and has no surface water, as there are no rivers and dams in the district for water storage. Boreholes are major sources of water.

The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United States Government.