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Zimbabwe

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In recent years, food production in Zimbabwe has been devastated by various factors including natural disasters, and economic and political instability. Recurrent drought, a series of poor harvests, high unemployment (estimated at more than 60%), restructuring of the agriculture sector and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate – at 13.7 per cent, the fifth highest in the world - have all contributed to increasing levels of vulnerability and acute food insecurity since 2001. This situation has necessitated large-scale humanitarian food relief operations in the country.

While the end of hyperinflation in 2009 had positive effects on food availability in the marketplace, Zimbabwe continues to battle poor liquidity and high unemployment rates. Despite some progress, challenges remain in attracting large-scale investment. 

The 2013 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) rural livelihoods report, which estimates food insecurity levels, predicts that 2.2 million Zimbabweans will be unable to access sufficient food during the peak hunger period, January – March 2014. This is the highest level of food insecurity since 2009. WFP is responding with a Seasonal Targeted Assistance programme to help food-insecure households in the worst-affected areas. The rising food insecurity levels are due to a combination of factors, including poor weather, the high cost or lack of availability of fertilisers and seeds, and rising food prices due to another poor harvest.  

WFP, meanwhile, continues to implement its year-round Health and Nutrition programme which supports malnourished HIV/AIDS and TB patients along with their households; pregnant and nursing mothers; and children under five years of age. WFP is also implementing a Food for Assets programme whereby community members receive food while creating assets - irrigaton systems or deep wells - that improve their ability to cope with drought and other shocks.

 

 

 

Threats to Food Security: 
  • Political/economic instability
  • Recurrent droughts
  • Poverty
  • Poor agricultural practices
  • HIV/AIDS
  • High unemployment
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Empowered Lives
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After drought and other shocks, it is vital that vulnerable households bounce back quickly. WFP helps communities build assets such as irrigation systems and earth dams to bolster resilience. Here, Topora villagers, once dependant on food assistance, harvest fish for the first time in a pond WFP helped create through a Cash/Food for Assets programme.

Copyright: WFP/Tomson Phiri

Latitude: 
-17.8311501
Longitude: 
31.0672493
legacy ID: 
716
ISO31661_Char2Code: 
ZW
ISO31661_Char3Code: 
ZWE
ISO31661_NumberCode: 
716
ISO31661_Name: 
Zimbabwe
Facts and Figures
Climate: 
Tropical; rainy season between November and March
Terrain: 
8.32 percent arable land; plateau; some mountains
Food production: 
Corn, livestock, peanuts, sugarcane, wheat, millet
Annual harvest: 
April and May
Agricultural production (% of GDP): 
18.5
Human Development Index: 
0.513
Children under weight for age (% of children under 5): 
14
Population undernourished (% of total pop.): 
39
Global hunger index - label: 
Alarming
Global hunger index - value: 
20.9
infant mortality rate per 1000 live birth - 2005 UNDP : 
81
Crisis
Crisis Active: 
No Crisis