Poor harvest and deteriorating macroeconomy driving atypically high food assistance needs
The deteriorating macroeconomy and significantly below average 2018/19 crop production are expected to drive widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through at least January 2020. In high production northern areas and some central parts of the country Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected through August, after which Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected. Some worst-affected households are likely to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in districts of highest concern: Kariba, Binga, Hwange, Gokwe North, Mbire, Mudzi, and Chipinge districts from October through February, the peak of the lean season.
The long-standing economic challenges are expected to continue driving poor and highly volatile macroeconomic conditions. Some basic commodities like bread, sugar and cooking oil are likely to continue in short supply. Fuel shortages and increasing fuel prices are also contributing to the economic hardships faced by both rural and urban populations as household incomes and purchasing power rapidly erode.
The Ministry of Agriculture currently estimates maize production for the 2018/19 season to be about 776,600 MT, 45 percent of last season and 59 percent of the five-year average. Early international forecast indicate, near average rainfall is likely for the start of the 2019/20 season. Despite this forecast, agriculture labor opportunities are likely to be below average in addition access to agriculture inputs is anticipated to limited.