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Zimbabwe Key Message Update: As supply increases, staple food prices decline seasonally across most markets, July 2021

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Key Messages

  • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes remain most likely through at least September across much of the country as households continue to consume foods from own production. Beginning in October, most typical deficit areas are expected to deteriorate to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as poor households become reliant on markets for food with below-average purchasing power. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in urban areas throughout the outlook period as poor households face low income and above-average prices.

  • Market supply of staple grain and other food crops— such as sweet potatoes, groundnuts, and cowpeas — continues to increase following the harvest. However, open market supply in typical deficit-producing areas is low, with only limited farmer-to-farmer sales. In the main sentinel markets of Harare, Bulawayo, and Mutare, maize grain and meal prices in both ZWL and USD declined by up to 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from May to June, while more modest declines were observed in peripheral deficit markets. Prices of non-staple food commodities — including bread and cooking oil — continued to increase partly due to high import costs of input materials.

  • The government extended level four national restrictions indefinitely as COVID-19 infections and associated deaths continue to increase. The measures allow for most economic activities, but with restrictions on intercity passenger transportation services, mandatory reduction of business hours and level of personnel, and a nightly curfew. This has resulted in moderate declines in income, especially for urban and peri-urban households engaged in the informal sector.

  • In mid-July, political unrest, violence, and looting in South Africa temporarily disrupted the flow of traffic and goods into Zimbabwe. This compounded impacts of ongoing land border closures to non-essential goods and services, driving short-term declines in the supply of some goods and services, though the situation is anticipated to normalize in the near future.