Zimbabwe Market Assessment: Market Functionality Index, May 2021

Originally published




Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst protracted humanitarian crisis in over a decade, owing to persistent climatic and economic shocks. While recurring drought and failed harvests have been the biggest drivers of food insecurity in rural areas, economic deterioration remains the greatest barrier to food accessibility in urban areas. In 2020 and 2021 these existing challenges were further compounded by the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown measures put in place by the Government of Zimbabwe to curb its spread.

The 2020 rural ZimVAC results indicate that during the peak hunger period between January to March 2021 it is estimated that approximately 56.2% of the rural households will be cereal insecure this will translate to approximately 5,454,270 individuals requiring 807,232MT of cereal (Maize Grain). While findings of the latest Urban ZimVAC show a deterioration in food security over the past year - 42% of urban households were found not able to meet their cereal requirements compared to approximately 30% in 2019; 83% of urban households are now below the food poverty line compared to 76.8% in 2019; food consumption patterns have deteriorated with the proportion of urban households experiencing moderate to severe hunger having increased by almost 40% since 2019.

The last nationwide markets assessment was conducted late 2018, therefore the recently conducted Markets Functionality Assessment is timely since a lot has changed in the country in the meantime. The assessment will inform the appropriateness and feasibility of cash-based transfer (CBT) programming in Zimbabwe, considering existing macro-economic challenges, natural disasters and currently the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.