Since the removal of 37-year leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017 by the Zimbabwean army, the political situation has become increasingly strained. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing an economic crisis, which is having a major impact on the cost and availability of food and fuel. With legitimate and alternative currencies quickly de-valuing against the US dollar, inflation and liquidity shortages are expected to worsen unless serious measures are taken. Should the economy collapse, as in 2008, serious humanitarian consequences regarding food security and health are very likely.
At least 3.9 million people are expected to suffer from food insecurity until at least March 2019, a significant increase from the estimated 567,000 people classified as food insecure in June 2018. The rural population of Zimbabwe is the most affected. Multiple issues affect food prices, access and availability. At the same time cholera and typhoid outbreaks are putting extreme pressure on Zimbabwe’s underfunded health system and dilapidated WASH infrastructure.
INFORM measures Zimbabwe’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster at 5.2/10. Lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are of particular concern at 5.7/10 and 5.2/10 respectively.?
26/04: Flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai has killed at least 344 people, causing over 186 injuries, while many more than 300 people are still missing. 270,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including 70,000 IDPs. Crops and livestock have been heavily damaged. Chimanimani and Chipinge districts are most affected and remain hard to reach as road infrastructure is severely damaged. Fuel for helicopters is scarce. Inadequate WASH and health facilities increase the risk of waterborne disease outbreaks.
WASH: Old and poorly maintained WASH facilities need serious investment and upgrades in order to prevent continual waterborne disease outbreaks and to guarantee potable water supplies.
Food security: Zimbabwe is experiencing widespread IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) food security levels in 2019 with price rises further impacting food availability.
Livelihoods: Zimbabwe’s economic crises and several other factors have contributed to an unemployment rate of 80%, which, combined with rising inflation, means livelihood support needs are high.