More than 4.34 million people in rural Zimbabwe are acutely food insecure facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse from February-June 2020. That is equivalent to 45% of the country’s rural population.
This includes over 1.04 million people facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity, with Hwange, Kariba and Binga districts being the most vulnerable.
The main factors driving the situation are: poor rainfall which has caused crops to wither, flooding which has wiped out the green harvest, high food prices and skyrocketing food prices, and lack of economic opportunities. This has forced many people to sell off their assets, such as livestock, in order to purchase food, while many others are reliant on external assistance. According to the Lean Season Assessment 2020, around 78% of interviewed households reported to have received assistance between April and December 2019. Assistance coverage and scale has increased since December to help people through the lean season.
Compared to the last IPC Acute Food Insecurity (AFI) analysis carried out for October-December 2019, the current situation reflects a 7% deterioration in the proportion of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. Compared to the IPC AFI analysis carried out one year ago (February-May 2019), the current situation reflects a 14% deterioration in the proportion of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. The increase is mainly attributed to the prolonged and severe lean season expected to last until June, high food prices, cash shortages and worsening market conditions.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) initiative uses phases to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity and malnutrition for better and more actionable information.