ZIMSTAT: Govt agency says extreme poverty in Zimbabwe now at 40%

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By Xinhua

HARARE: The rate of extreme poverty in Zimbabwe fell slightly to 42 percent in 2022, down from 43 percent in 2021, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) said Friday.

This is according to the results of the latest high-frequency telephone survey, known as the Rapid-Poverty Income Consumption and Expenditure Surveys (PICES) carried out by ZIMSTAT between December 2022 and January 2023.

According to the survey, the proportion of Zimbabwe’s population facing severe food insecurity dropped from 27 percent in July 2020 to 9 percent during the December 2022-January 2023 period.

“In general, food insecurity falls as the country receives good and timely rains,” ZIMSTAT said.

Zimbabwe is expecting to harvest 2.3 million tonnes of the staple maize grain in 2023, a 58 percent increase from the previous season due to favorable rains.

Zimbabwe’s extreme poverty levels have been gradually falling after peaking at 49 percent at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The World Bank, however, has warned that despite renewed economic activity in the post-COVID-19 era, poverty in Zimbabwe is likely to remain high as the scars from two years of recession (2019-2020), food insecurity and the pandemic linger.