Key Message Update

International food and commodity price hikes drive sharp increases in cost of living

March 2022

March - May 2022

June - September 2022

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

  • As the lean season continues into March, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are persisting across deficit-producing areas with Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes present where humanitarian assistance is significant. Meanwhile, reserves from above-average 2021 harvests are currently resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in surplus-producing areas, which are likely to continue throughout the outlook period. However, as the 2022 harvests are largely expected to be below normal, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are anticipated through September in most deficit-producing areas, with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes emerging in worst-affected areas by July. Urban areas are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout the outlook period due to below normal income and above-average prices.

  • Crop conditions in northern surplus-producing areas improved somewhat with rainfall in the second half of March. However, crop loss is significant nationally, with maize write-offs of more than 50 percent reported in some eastern, southern, and western districts worst affected by recent dryness. Poor and erratic rainfall will also negatively impact water availability in these areas during the upcoming dry season. On the other hand, pastures have seen some regeneration and livestock body conditions are fair to good in most farming sectors, despite a high prevalence of disease.

  • Disruptions to international markets related to the conflict in Ukraine have caused significant fuel prices fluctuations in Zimbabwe in March. In response, regulatory authorities have begun adjusting prices on a weekly, as opposed to monthly, basis. Both petrol and diesel have risen 10 percent since February, while maize grain, maize meal, wheat flour, and bread prices have all risen by about 15 percent, contributing to increased cost of living and negatively impacting mainly low-income households. This is compounded by continued increases in official and parallel market exchange rates, which have gone up 15 percent and between 5 and 10 percent, respectively, since February. ZIMSTAT reported March monthly and annual inflation rates at 6.3 and 72.7 percent, respectively; the cost of living as measured by national poverty lines increased by about 6 percent in March compared to February.

  • Seasonal labor continues to be significantly below normal in most areas given the poor progression of the agricultural season. Meanwhile, despite the reopening of land borders, cross-border trade and related livelihoods remain below normal levels, due in part to COVID-19 test and vaccination requirements. Lower-income households in particular lack the capital to quickly restart these livelihood activities.

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 approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics