• 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

  • 7,000,000 People in Need [?]
  • 5,300,000 drought affected population [?]
  • 270,000 people affected by Cyclone Idai [?]



The political situation in Zimbabwe has become increasingly strained following the Zimbabwean army’s removal of President Robert Mugabe in November 2017. Since 2008, the country has been in economic crisis, with impacts seen in the costs and reduced availability of food, fuel, and medicines. With legitimate and alternative currencies quickly devaluing against the US dollar, inflation and liquidity shortages are expected to worsen unless effective measures are taken. Should the economy collapse, as in 2008, serious consequences for food security and health are very likely.?Coupled with economic and political issues is Zimbabwe's worsening health crisis. Doctors and other health workers are embarking on indefinite strikes since 2019 to protest lack of pay and government’s inability to provide medical facilities at hospitals. Cholera and typhoid outbreaks are putting extreme pressure on Zimbabwe’s health system and dilapidated WASH infrastructure.?The already fragile humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is compounded by the impact of Tropical Cyclone Idai (March 2019), which affected around 270,000 people in Manicaland, Masvingo, and parts of Mashonaland East provinces.? Underlying vulnerabilities such as high food security levels, limited livelihood opportunities, and limited access to health services have been reinforced, including the risks of renewed outbreaks of waterborne diseases.?

Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions are expected across the country until May 2021, because of the high cost of living, low purchasing power, inflation, and COVID-19 restrictions. Households will still be able to meet their own needs however, once crops are available to harvest, and will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions between June–September. ?




Latest Developments


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


Key Priorities


WASH: Old and poorly maintained WASH facilities need investment and upgrades to prevent continual waterborne disease outbreaks and to guarantee potable water supplies. Lack of currency in the country and power blackouts have resulted in the closure of water treatment plants, leaving up to 2 million people without access to clean water. ?

Food security:  IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) food security levels are widespread, with price rises due to the economic crisis 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. ?

Health:  Access to health care has become restricted as shortages of medicine and medical staff persist as economic crisis continues to worsen. ?

COVID-19 Outbreak


A surge in COVID-19 cases and related deaths has been reported since mid-December 2020. This led to the reintroduction of mitigation measures on 5 January 2021, including a 30-day lockdown, movement restrictions, a curfew, and the closure of formal and informal businesses not considered essential services. 28,675 confirmed cases and 825 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic. Between 1–21 January 2021, over 14,000 new cases and 400 additional deaths were recorded. COVID-19 containment measures implemented in March 2020 were a key driver of food security deterioration in the country, as they translated into a decrease of more than 50% in household income. Between January–March 2021, 3.38 million people are estimated to face high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), up from 2.61 million people between October–December 2020. The reintroduction of COVID-19 containment measures could further worsen the food security situation, especially for vulnerable urban households that depend on the informal market.?