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

Key Developments

Currency depreciation and sharply rising prices for food, fertilizer, and fuel are diminishing household purchasing power and limiting access to livelihoods and sufficient food across much of Zimbabwe. As a result, approximately 3.8 million people in Zimbabwe—nearly 40 percent of the country's rural population—will likely be food-insecure during the January-to-March 2023 peak of the lean season.

Moreover, high levels of food insecurity are contributing to chronic malnutrition throughout the country, with nearly 25 percent of children ages five years and younger experiencing stunted growth in 2022, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP).

In addition, an estimated 23,000 refugees and asylum-seekers remained displaced in Zimbabwe as of September 2022, the majority of whom were located at Tongogara refugee camp and reliant on humanitarian food assistance to meet their daily needs, according to the UN.


Zimbabwe is susceptible to various recurrent shocks—including localized drought, floods, livestock diseases, and pest infestations—that hamper agricultural production and drive widespread food insecurity and other emergency needs. Volatile macroeconomic conditions have further diminished access to food and livelihoods among urban and rural households. USAID has responded to emergency needs resulting from drought and other disasters, while also supporting interventions to bolster community resilience to mitigate and respond to future shocks.

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