May 22, 2024

Zimbabwe Food Security Outlook June 2022 to January 2023

Poor harvests and price volatility likely to result in early lean season and widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

Key Messages

In the post-harvest period, food security outcomes are expected to improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, humanitarian food needs will continue to increase steadily through January 2023 and will be higher than needs at the peak of the 2021/22 lean season. Significantly below average 2021/22 crop production and macroeconomic instability are expected to drive the emergence of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes by July/August in deficit-producing areas and those worst affected by erratic rainfall, marking an early onset of the 2022/23 lean season. In surplus-producing areas, near-average 2021/22 harvests and 2020/21 carryover stocks will likely result in continued Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes throughout the outlook period. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will continue in relatively less productive parts of surplus-producing areas and urban areas through January.

Macroeconomic instability, marked by spiking parallel market foreign currency exchange rates, will likely remain a prime driver of rapidly increasing headline inflation throughout the outlook period. High international prices and the continued depreciation of the local currency are contributing to below-average household purchasing power thereby increasing the proportion of households experiencing challenges in meeting their basic food and non-food needs. The lifting of import duties on prioritized basic food and non-food commodities in response to emerging shortages will cushion some household groups, but access for poorer households will likely remain constrained.

For most households, typical livelihood strategies will likely remain constrained, and income will remain below average throughout the outlook period. Food crop sales will be non-existent in deficit-producing areas, while sales will be marginal in surplus-producing areas. Casual labor opportunities and livestock sales will be below normal due to limited demand. Cross-border trade is increasing with the recent opening of land borders, although it will likely remain below pre-pandemic levels.

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Source: Famine Early Warning System Network