Usually boasts about how Zimbabwe has had a bumper harvest is something you only see in the state media. This year though everyone can agree that the country had a good summer season. We had normal to above normal rains over the expected rain season and there is ample proof that the country did indeed have a bumper harvest.

That is why it’s a bit baffling that over 5 million Zimbabweans need food support already. This was revealed by the venerable World Food Program so there is no need to doubt the statistics either. This is despite the fact that the country had about 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize and 360 000 metric tonnes of other grains. Grains are the country’s staple food.

It seems however that thanks to macroeconomic instability Zimbabwe’s urban population is in serious danger of starvation. This is because the government has been forced to introduce lockdowns to combat COVID-19 meaning the bulk of people who are employed in the informal sector have been left exposed.

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We know that despite the good harvest in Zimbabwe this year and the positive forecasts for the upcoming season, there are still over five millin people in the country who will not have enought to eat. Many of these people were vulnerable before the pandemic and will continue to be pushed deeper into poverty if we are unable to act with purpose and in a timely mannner.

Francesca Erderimann WFP Country Direct.

The government’s recovery efforts over the course of four years has been disproportionately focused on the formal sector with the informal sector on the receiving end of many an ill-conceived policy. This has made operating in the sector difficult and for some businesses impossible as they are banned outright. An example is those who were employed in the transport sector through kombis.