Zimbabwe: Acute Food Insecurity Situation February - June 2020
Over 4.3 million people require urgent attention in Zimbabwe
01.02.2020 > 30.06.2020


& next steps



Currently, 45% of the rural population is in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) while 29% is Stressed (IPC Phase 2). This is a deterioration from the last analysis conducted in June 2019, when 38% of the total population was in IPC Phase 3 and higher. The increase in the number of acutely food insecure population is primarily due to the lean season expected to extend until June. Review of the severity of the drivers of food insecurity in Zimbabwe shows that more households would likely be in a more challenging food security situation in the absence of a large-scale humanitarian food assistance programme ongoing in the country. The Government and partners are reaching large numbers of food insecure households, and genuine efforts need to continue to reach the most vulnerable households and to provide them food, cash and livelihood assistance.


  • Poor rains: The poor rainfall season with late start of rains in most districts of Zimbabwe has resulted in delayed or no green harvest, reduced water availability for livestock and households.
  • Low production: A poor harvest in 2019 has forced many households to become more reliant on markets to access staple food items. The poor season has also led to fewer casual labour opportunities which many poor households depend on for income.
  • High food prices: High prices of food items and other basic commodities mean that for many rural households normal purchases are no longer possible, and reliance on external assistance and social networks for food has become normal.


This IPC analysis does not factor in the direct and indirect impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the food insecurity of Zimbabwe. The analysis was conducted before the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, and before any restrictive measures on travels and movements that may be applied. Whereas we know that COVID-19 is already affecting almost every aspect of life, in general, the pandemic is believed to reduce food availability and curtail economic access to food for all populations, raising concerns in particular over the areas with highest levels of food insecurity.

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