10 Facts About Hunger In Zimbabwe

Here are ten things to know to understand the food and nutrition situation in Zimbabwe. Please help the World Food Programme (WFP) raise awareness by sharing these facts on Twitter.

1) An estimated 1.5 million people – 16 percent of the population – are projected to be food insecure at the peak of the 2015-16 lean season, the period before the next harvest when domestic food stocks get scarce. This represents a 164 percent increase in food insecurity compared to the previous season. 

2) Nearly 28 percent of children under age five in Zimbabwe are stunted, or have heights too low for their age, as a result of chronic malnutrition

3) More than half (56 percent) of all children between the ages of 6 and 59 months suffer from anaemia

4) HIV increases a person’s vulnerability to malnutrition. While the prevalence of HIV infection in Zimbabwe has declined over the past decade, it still affects 15 percent of the adult population, or some 1.3 million people.

5) Less than a quarter (17.3 percent) of Zimbabwean children between the ages of 6 and 23 months receive the recommended minimum acceptable diet for adequate nutrition. 

6) Although Zimbabwe has some 4.3 million hectares of arable land, only 2.8 million hectares of land were cultivated during the 2014/15 cropping season due to high fuel costs, and climatic shocks to name a few.

7) In Zimbabwe, where drought is the most common climatic threat to agricultural production, only 7.6 percent of farmers practice conservation agriculture.

8) Zimbabwe is considered a low-income, food-deficit country, ranked 156 out of 187 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index, which measures progress and failure in the global fight against hunger. 

9) The prevalence of food insecurity and absolute poverty are closely correlated. Poverty is most prevalent in rural areas, with 76 percent of rural households living on less than US$1.25 per day, compared to 38 percent in urban areas.

10) Zimbabwe has highly volatile food prices, which can increase by more than 30-40 percent in a season. Price instability, especially during the lean season, compromises households’ ability to access adequate food year-round through markets

Sources:

1) 2015 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report
2) 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster  Survey 
3) Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2010-11
4) Nutrition Assessment and Vulnerability Profiling Study, Ministry of Health and Child Care,  2014; WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2014
5) 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey
6) 2015 Zimbabwe Zero Hunger  Strategic Review
7) ZimVAC 2014
8) United Nations Development Programme 2014 Human Development Report ‘Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience
9) Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey: 2011/2012 Report (April 2013)
10) 2015 Zimbabwe Zero Hunger  Strategic Review; ZimVAC 2014 

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.