In its latest report, Fewsnet said due to a prolonged dry spell in December 2017, and January this year, there had been limited livelihood activities in these parts of the country, reduced incomes and shrinking food stocks.
Fewsnet anticipates the levels of food security to worsen through the 2019 harvest, as these households deplete their food stocks and face difficulty in procuring sufficient amounts of food from markets.
In most northern and high crop producing areas, minimal levels of food insecurity will likely continue through to September.
“In anticipation of the heightened level of need during the 2018/19 lean season, the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has provided the World Food Programme (WFP) with nearly 5,000 metric tonnes of emergency food assistance in fiscal year 2018 to date, to assist more than 66,000 food-insecure people over a period of six months,” reads part of the report.
“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 programmes, 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.
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.
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.