Key Message Update

Food prices remain atypically high and continue to increase restricting household food access

July 2019

July - September 2019

October 2019 - January 2020

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The deteriorating macroeconomy and poor 2018/19 crop production are expected to drive widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through at least January 2020. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes continue in some typical high-production areas; however, in August these areas are likely to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The significantly above average food prices are limiting food access for many poor households across the country. The worst affected households with limited to no food stocks and constrained incomes are most likely to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) starting around October.

  • Most food and non-food commodity prices continued to increase despite reports indicating the decrease of some basic commodity prices. The official annual inflation rate was reported by ZIMSTAT at about 176 percent in June, up from nearly 100 percent in May. Fuel prices went up by over 20 percent in July, the fourth price hike since January, further increasing transportation and other costs. Despite the ban of foreign currency , some goods and services continue to be charged in US Dollars and South African Rands, or at exorbitant rates in the local currency, above the official and parallel market exchange rates. 

  • At the end of June, and in response to poor 2018/19 harvests, the government mandated maize grain shall be sold only to the Grain Marketing Board or contractors. The mandate also restricted grain transportation to 250 kg maximum, which will likely further negatively affect maize grain flows in the country. The demand for maize meal continues to increase atypically early in the post-harvest period.

  • Seasonal livelihood strategies continue to be constrained mainly as a result of poor 2018/19 harvests, worsening economic challenges, and decreasing water availability and access, especially in arid areas, limiting household incomes. Agricultural and non-agricultural casual labor opportunities are very limited as better-off households have no or limited resources to pay for the labor. In-country and international remittances mainly from South Africa are below average.  As cash shortages continue, the use of mobile money has increased in both rural and urban areas is eroding disposable incomes owing to high service charges or rates.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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