Zimbabwe Food Security Outlook Update, November 2019


Livestock conditions continue to deteriorate in the south and west despite start of rainfall season

Key Messages

  • Zimbabwe is experiencing one of its worst food security crises in recent years with atypically high humanitarian food assistance needs. Despite ongoing humanitarian food assistance, large-scale assistance needs persist and are expected to continue through at least the start of the main harvest in April/May 2020. Humanitarian food assistance is improving food security outcomes in some worst affected areas to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). Emergency assistance is expected to continue at present or higher levels through at least March 2020. In areas where humanitarian food assistance is not likely, or where it is not expected to be significant, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at least till the harvest.

  • Record-high temperatures in late-October to early-November impacted water sources, agricultural activity, and livestock. As of late-November, widespread rainfall across most areas had led to sufficient soil moisture for planting. Despite November rainfall, land preparation and planting activities are at markedly low levels mainly due to limited availability of agriculture inputs, specifically seeds and fertilizers. Livestock conditions continue to deteriorate especially in southern and western areas where a high number of cattle deaths have been reported due to poor pasture conditions and water availability.

  • The persisting poor macroeconomic environment continues to impact livelihoods and remains a key driver to the near-record levels of rural and urban food insecurity. The high parallel market exchange rates for foreign currency still largely influence the pricing of most goods and services. This is impacting a large proportion of the population whose earnings in local currency are vastly eroded. Despite the introduction of new notes and coins for the Zimbabwean Dollar in early November, shortages of the local currency remain and have brought back long bank queues and is promoting the continued sale of local notes and coins on the black market.