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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to emerge in additional deficit-producing areas as the lean season peaks between February and March; however, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are expected in areas where humanitarian assistance will be significant. Conversely, own-produced food stocks remain available for many households in surplus-producing areas, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through March. Beginning in April, food availability and access are expected to improve across rural areas with the 2022 harvests. Urban areas are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout the outlook period due to below normal income and atypically high prices.
Rainfall returned to average levels in January, most notably across northern Zimbabwe, reducing some of the rainfall deficits from the first half of the season and increasing plantings and replantings. However, the prolonged dryspell in November and December in much of the country reduced the planting window to such an extent that cropped area remains below last year and below normal. On the other hand, in localized areas, persistent rains have resulted in waterlogging, heavy leaching, poor weed control and chemical applications. While late-January’s Tropical Storm Ana is likely to exacerbate these conditions in wetter areas, it has also significantly improved rainfall deficits in far eastern parts of the country.
Parallel market exchange rates remained volatile, driving most price hikes in ZWL. Maize grain prices in ZWL have risen 10 percent since December in Harare, while bread and refined vegetable oil prices increased by around 20 percent nationally during the same time period. Electricity tarrifs have increased 12.3 percent in ZWL since January 1. ZIMSTAT reported stable annual and monthly inflation for January at 60.6 percent and 5.3 percent respectively. The food poverty line and the total consumption poverty line recorded 6.8 percent and 6.1 percent increases in the month, constraining access to food on the market.
On-farm labor opportunities remained below-normal in line with below-average cropped areas; persistent rains in parts of the country are also reducing some labor opportunities. Meanwhile, harvesting of the early irrigated tobacco crop has begun in anticipation of the start of the 2022 marketing season.
This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.