Following relatively good rains in the 2019/2020 season and a major scale-up in food assistance, there has been a reduction in severe food insecurity in 2020 compared to 2019. However, despite relatively good rains, nearly 3.4 million people in rural areas are projected to face Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 or above) food insecurity at the peak of the 2020/2021 lean season (January-March) and 2.3 million people in urban communities are estimated to be food insecure in 2021, according to the the latest Integrated Phase Classification (IPC).
According to the 2020 rural ZimVAC assessment, households saw an average 51.5 per cent reduction in income in 2020 compared to 2019, including due to COVID-19. The IPC analysis highlights that an estimated 1.2 million people currently in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) would be at least one phase worse were it not for the assistance they are receiving.
Zimbabwe saw a sharp increase in protection concerns during the COVID-19 lockdown, including gender-based violence. From January to September 2020, 5,507 GBV cases were reported through the National GBV Hotline, a 200 per cent increase compared with the same timeframe in 2019, when 1,930 GBV cases were reported through the Hotline. Children have been uniquely impacted by the combination of climatic shocks, economic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 4.6 million children in Zimbabwe lost access to education and the protective environment provided in schools due to the pandemic, while over 1.7 million school children lost access to school feeding programmes. The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe has caused a decrease in quality dietary habits while access to nutrition services has been disrupted. Distressed households have reported increased use of negative coping mechanisms including child labor, early marriage and transactional sex, while economic challenges are creating barriers for children’s return to education, especially for girls.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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