By Thandiwe Garusa
THE latest World Bank (WB) food security report has indicated Zimbabwe was leading the world’s top ten countries worst affected by domestic food price inflation, a development that has exacerbated household food insecurity.
The top 10 countries badly affected by food inflation are Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Turkiye, Iran, Argentina, Moldova, Ethiopia and Rwanda respectively.
Zimbabwe has topped the list with food inflation of 353% on a year-on-year basis, followed by Lebanon with 240% while Venezuela was ranked third with 131%.
The surveys were based on data collected between May and August 2022, for which the food component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and overall CPI data were available, the Washington-based lender said.
According to the World Bank, food insecurity is predicted to increase in the coming months.
“Countries in East and Southern Africa continue to experience acute food insecurity that is predicted to increase further in the coming months. Food insecurity is particularly severe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia, with up to 10 million and 15 million people facing risk of acute food insecurity, respectively.
“There is also high risk of food insecurity in other countries, including up to 7.5 million each in Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan, with risk of famine in the latter two; 5 million in Zimbabwe; 2.5 million each in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda; and up to 1 million in Burundi,” the report reads.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwean government appealed for food aid from humanitarian organisations as four million of the nation’s rural population will be food insecure between January and March 2023.
This follows a decline in maize production due to poor distribution of rainfall during the 2020/2021 farming season.