Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

February 1, 2019


  • According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s 2018 Rural Livelihoods Assessment, approximately 2.4 million people in rural Zimbabwe—approximately 28 percent of the rural population—will be severely food insecure by March 2019. Dry spells and erratic rainfall from October to January will likely lead to a poor harvest, decreasing food availability for many households. Economic volatility and currency shortages limit poor households’ access to food, due to low and declining household purchasing power, and may significantly worsen food insecurity conditions if prolonged.
  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) projects that Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity will persist across Zimbabwe through May 2019.* Poor rainfall in November and late planting across parts of the country may delay harvesting, which typically begins in April. As a result, many poor households will continue to engage in negative coping strategies—including reducing the number of meals eaten per day, reducing meal size and eating less preferred foods, FEWS NET reports.

* 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).


  • To respond to the heightened level of need during the October-to-April lean season—the period when food is most scarce—USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) provides emergency food assistance to approximately 655,000 food-insecure people in Zimbabwe.
  • With FFP support, WFP also carries out a productive assets creation program to improve food security and income generation for vulnerable Zimbabweans during the dry season. Through food-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.
  • FFP also supports multi-year development activities through partner World Vision in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces and partner Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces. These multi-year programs aim to improve the nutritional status of children younger than five years of age, expand and diversify agricultural production, increase household income and help communities prepare for disasters through risk-reduction activities.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2019 $15.2 million 1,848 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $55.5 million 14,294 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $56.8 million 40,922

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

Country-Specific Guidance

Related Resources

Last updated: March 08, 2019

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