• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 1,952,000 People in Need [?]
  • 1,952,000 Moderate humanitarian conditions - Level 3 [?]
  • 0 Severe humanitarian conditions - Level 4 [?]



More than 1.1 million people (10% of the assessed population) were facing Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) between July–September 2021. Floods, locust infestation, high food prices, and declining livelihood opportunities resulting from the impact of COVID-19 are intensifying the food security crisis reported in Zambia since 2019. Previous droughts, especially in 2015/2016 and 2017/2018, have increased people’s vulnerability to food shortages. Currently, the most affected areas are Luapula, Lusaka, and Western provinces, where about 15% of the assessed population are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and require humanitarian assistance. Households experiencing significant food consumption gaps resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as charcoal production and selling livelihood assets (cattle, goats, pigs, and land), to meet their minimum food needs.?

The food insecurity situation is projected to worsen between October 2021 and March 2022 because of the lean season starting in November, the rainy season starting in mid-October and expected to affect flood-prone areas in the north and northeastern parts of the country, and the risk of increased COVID-19 cases. Projections indicate that 1.58 million people (13% of the population analysed) are likely to face Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3).?

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.



Food: Food consumption gaps are reported in Luapula, Lusaka, and Western provinces, where about 78,000 people are experiencing Crisis levels (IPC Phase 3). Affected households are relying on markets to provide food, and they have consumed the seeds needed for planting during the farming season (November 2021 to January 2022).?  

Health: The healthcare system has been overwhelmed by three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of funding. With only 7% of the adults above 18 fully vaccinated, Zambia remains at risk of a fourth wave of COVID-19. Cholera outbreaks resulting from inadequate access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation remain a risk.? 

Nutrition: Above-normal acute malnutrition levels are reported in Luapula, Lusaka, and Western provinces. Micronutrient deficiencies are common among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. ? 

WASH: Around 65% of the population living in drought-affected areas resorted to water resources with a high risk of contamination in 2020. Shortages of safe drinking water result in diarrhea and other water-related diseases.?