- Food security has improved in northern Manicaland since December due to humanitarian assistance
- There was a 10 percentage point-reduction in households using the most severe coping strategies in northern Manicaland compared to December
- Masvingo and the eastern part of Mashonaland West province registered the highest use of coping strategies
January was characterised by persistent rainfall throughout the month. There were heavy showers and by the end of the month the whole country had received normal to above normal rainfall. The rains improved water availability for human, crop and livestock use. This situation is unlike January 2016 when the rainfall situation was critical. During mid-January this year dams were 50.41 percent full, up from 41.1 percent in December 2016. However, the heavy rain however resulted in leaching, waterlogging and flooding in some areas. The May 2016 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) rural livelihoods assessment estimated that 42 percent of the rural population, 4.1 million people, would be food insecure at the peak of the hunger season between January and March 2017. In January 2017 the ZimVAC conducted a rural rapid assessment to establish how the food and nutrition situation has evolved since May 2016; the results are pending. Humanitarian assistance from the government, UN agencies and other organisations is a major source of food in many rural communities.