Zimbabwe + 4 more

Southern Africa Key Message Update: Income from casual labor expected to be low due to impacts of COVID-19 and consecutive droughts

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Situation Report
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Key Messages

  • In drought-affected areas of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Madagascar, poor households are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through January. Similar outcomes or worse outcomes will most likely continue in conflict areas of DRC and Mozambique. However, in most high producing parts of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar, and Mozambique, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist.

  • The indirect impacts of COVID-19 remain significant for many low-income households in urban areas and poor rural communities. Although restrictions were slowly easing in Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and DRC, most poor urban households have lost employment with the closing of some formal and informal businesses. In Mozambique, restriction measures were extended in August. Some urban poor households are likely to relocate to rural areas where the cost of living is relatively lower; however, are expected to continue struggling to access staple food and other basic commodities.

  • While staple prices reportedly remained generally stable or decreased in July across Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar, they still remain 20 percent or more above average. In Zimbabwe, high inflation continues to drive increases in staple prices. These above-average prices are significantly affecting poor households' access to food on the market due to low purchasing power.

  • Poor households typically engage in land preparation to earn income for food purchases starting in September. Income-earning opportunities are expected to remain limited in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, DRC, and Madagascar, where COVID-19 restrictions and consecutive droughts have negatively affected incomes for most households who typically provide these opportunities. In addition, in-kind payments through grain are lower than average, following the poor production in parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar.