Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)3.80 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.3.40 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.40 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.00 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.2.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
An estimated seven million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe because of the economic crisis that started in 2008, characterised by hyperinflation and increased poverty levels, and an unstable political situation following the Zimbabwean army’s removal of President Robert Mugabe in November 2017. A prolonged dry spell since November 2021 is also threatening the harvest season (April–May) and will likely deteriorate food insecurity. As at September 2021, an estimated 5.7 million people across Zimbabwe were facing food shortages.?
Adding to the already high inflation rates, the disruption of fuel and food imports resulting from the conflict in Ukraine has led to a rise in petrol and diesel prices (by 16 and 17 USD cents per litre respectively as at 9 March). Wheat prices have increased by 15% during the first week of March. Prices of other basic commodities have also increased. The impact of the deteriorating economy and constant increase in prices has been raising peoples’ discontent in Zimbabwe, leading to recurrent nationwide strikes and protests.?
The prolonged dry spell since November will likely result in a below-average harvest and contribute to increased food prices and reduced households’ purchasing power. It will also affect electricity generation in the Kariba Dam – the world’s largest manmade lake. Because of poor rainfall, water levels in the lake have been receding, which increases the risk of more frequent power cuts, affecting households’ livelihoods.?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
Food: About 5.7 million people had insufficient food consumption as at September 2021. Food shortages are expected to increase because of poor rainfall and a prolonged dry spell. Food prices (including wheat) have increased following the effects of conflict on the supply chain in Ukraine, affecting people’s access to food.?
Education: Access to education for 4.6 million children in Zimbabwe has been disrupted because of prolonged school closures as part of COVID-19 containment measure, in addition to a teacher’s strike since 7 February related to the high cost of living and inflation rates. Financial constraints, teenage pregnancies, and the COVID-19 pandemic have also contributed to a 23% dropout rate among school-aged children.?
Livelihoods: Farming, the main livelihood activity in Zimbabwe, is affected by the dry spell as crops are wilting and livestock are getting weaker. The industrial and mining sectors are affected by low commodity prices and disruptions in electricity services. COVID-19 containment measures have also affected production across all sectors.?
WASH: The prolonged dry spell, poor rainfall, and high temperatures have increased needs for water. In Chiredzi district (Masvingo province), one of the areas affected by the dry spell, rehabilitation of water boreholes is required to reduce the distance people need to walk to access safe drinking water. Lack of access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene increases the risk of disease outbreaks.?