The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to disrupt the livelihoods of thousands of vulnerable families in Zambia. This has the potential to reinforce poverty and deepen food and nutrition insecurity. Furthermore, economic disruptions that have slowed down investments, resulted in high unemployment and declined remittances. Resultant adverse effects on some macroeconomic fundamentals, such as the exchange rate and fiscal expenditure allocations, may have a pass-through effect on slowing down economic activity. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the economic impact of COVID-19 will likely result in negative 2.6 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2020 from the earlier 3.6 percent projected growth. The Government has articulated strategies to respond to the emergency in its National COVID-19 Multisectoral Contingency and Response Plan. To guide targeting and implementation of a cash-based intervention for COVID-19 vulnerable households and individuals in peri-urban and urban areas, a context description assessment was commissioned in Lusaka and Kafue districts. These two districts were extracted from the list of 58 high-risk districts selected through a rigorous risk analysis undertaken as part of the national contingency and response plan process.
The objective of the Rapid Food Security Vulnerability and Impact Assessment was to determine the impact of COVID-19 on people’s food and nutrition security, focusing on four (4) key food security themes - household demographics, livelihoods and expenditure patterns, food sources and consumption and housing characteristics. The study was largely quantitative with sample sizes of 1,004 and 500 households in Lusaka and Kafue Districts respectively. The sample size was dependent on the population density of the wards within the two districts as a proxy of the susceptibility of the general populace being infected. The sample size was calculated based on the probability in all the wards of the two districts.