Food insecurity worsens; Zimbabwe rated among 10 poor countries hardest hit by food inflation

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By Thandiwe Garusa

THE latest World Bank (WB) food security report has indicated Zimbabwe was among countries worst affected by domestic food price inflation, a development that has exacerbated household food insecurity.

The report ranked Zimbabwe second bottom on the rankings of 10 countries hit hardest, with Lebanon emerging the worst affected.

This comes at a time when food inflation has soared across developing nations since the onset of  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia have the most affected nations.

The top 10 countries badly affected by food inflation are Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Iran, Argentina, Suriname, Ethiopia and Moldova.

The surveys were based on data collected between March and June 2022, for which the food component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and overall CPI data were available, the Washington-based lender said.

Economist Persistance Gwanyanya said the worsening food security situation locally was due to the poor output in the agriculture sector, last year.

“It reflects the domestic, as well as external geopolitical realities, that this year our agriculture sector did not do well compared to last year. The previous year, the sector grew by around 33% while this year there has been a contraction in the same sector,” Gwanyanya said.

About 66% of Zimbabwe’s urban population was food insecure. According to United States economist and currency expert, Steve Hanke, inflation has reached a frightening 487%.