Zimbabwe Cyclone Idai
Cyclone Idai caused significant flooding in Zimbabwe.
Zinyange Autony / AFP

Key Developments

On November 12, U.S. Ambassador Brian A. Nichols declared a disaster in Zimbabwe due to drought.  USAID staff in the region and in Washington, D.C., continue to coordinate with the USAID mission in Zimbabwe, the Government of Zimbabwe, and other stakeholders to monitor the situation and determine the type and amount of assistance appropriate to meet urgent humanitarian needs in the country.  

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing widespread acute food insecurity caused by poor crop production--due in part to the effects of Tropical Cyclone Idai--and the country’s ongoing economic crisis, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports. Approximately 2.3 million people in rural Zimbabwe were facing severe food insecurity in August, with conditions expected to deteriorate later in 2019. In response to growing humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe, USAID continues to provide emergency food relief and other humanitarian assistance throughout the country in coordination with humanitarian organizations and the Government of Zimbabwe.

In March 2019, torrential rains caused by Cyclone Idai resulted in significant flooding in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland Province. The flooding caused at least 299 deaths and affected an estimated 270,000 people. In addition, flooding damaged or destroyed public infrastructure and property, and resulted in crop and livestock losses. In response, USAID provided $100,000 to GOAL to procure emergency relief commodities and support shelter and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions and $250,000 to the UN Office for the Coordination of humanitarian affairs to strengthen humanitarian coordination and information management for the response in Zimbabwe. Please visit our webpage for additional information.


Zimbabwe has experienced multiple years of drought, with conditions exacerbated by the 2015-2016 El Niño climatic event. Zimbabwe also experiences other natural hazards, including tropical cyclones, flooding, and pest infestations. USAID/OFDA has responded to humanitarian needs resulting from drought and other disasters, while also supporting interventions to build community resilience to mitigate and respond to future shocks.

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Last updated: November 25, 2019

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