Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe
Map of Zimbabwe

May 22, 2018


  • Economic challenges and poor rainfall undermine food security in Zimbabwe. Nationally, 92 percent of households in Zimbabwe practice agriculture as their primary livelihood, according to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC). After multiple years of drought-reduced harvests, increased planting and good rains increased agricultural production in the first half of 2017, reducing the stress on many households and providing some households with sufficient food stocks to sustain themselves during the current poor agricultural season.
  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) projects that due to a prolonged dry spell in December and January, limited livelihood activities, reduced incomes and shrinking food stocks, poor households in the southern, western and far northern regions will face Stressed (IPC 2) levels of food insecurity between May and July. FEWS NET anticipates Crisis (IPC 3) levels of food security through the 2019 harvest, as these households deplete their food stocks and face difficulty in procuring sufficient amounts of food from markets. Minimal (IPC 1) levels of food insecurity will likely continue in most northern and high crop producing areas through September 2018.

* The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).


  • In anticipation of the heightened level of need during the 2018/2019 lean season, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) provided the UN World Food Program (WFP) with nearly 5,000 metric tons of U.S. in-kind emergency food assistance in fiscal year (FY) 2018 to date, to assist more than 66,000 food-insecure people over a period of six months. Additionally, with FFP support, WFP provides cash-based transfers for food to more than 10,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Mozambique and the Horn of Africa living in Zimbabwe’s Tongogara Refugee Camp.
  • FFP also supports multi-year development activities through World Vision in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces and Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces. These programs, begun in 2013, aim to improve the nutritional status of children under five, expand and diversify agricultural production, increase household income, and help communities prepare for disasters through risk-reduction activities. With FFP support, WFP also carries out productive asset creation programs to improve food security and income generation during the dry season. Through food- and cash-for-assets activities, FFP partners strengthen infrastructure—such as dams and irrigation systems—that increase households’ resilience to shocks and gradually reduce the need for seasonal food assistance.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons

Fiscal Year 2018

$20.1 million 8,250 MT
Fiscal Year 2017

$56.8 million

40,922 MT

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers.

Country-Specific Guidance

Related Resources

Last updated: May 23, 2018

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