Skip to main content


Highlights Last Updated: 26 Oct 2020

  • As of 25 October, 8,275 COVID-19 cases and 237 deaths were confirmed, with 77 per cent in the four provinces of Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands and Matabeleland South.
  • From 1 April to 20 October, 24,046 Zimbabwean migrants returned from neighbouring countries, with the number of returnees in quarantine significantly decreasing.
  • According to the ZimVAC assessment, 5.5 million people, 56 per cent of the rural population, are estimated to be cereal insecure from January to March 2021.
  • The ZimVAC assessment indicates that the nutrition status of children in Zimbabwe has deteriorated with global acute malnutrition prevalence increasing from 3.6 to 3.8 per cent.
Zimbabwe: WFP
WFP staff supports lean season targeted food assistance while adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures. ©WFP


Country profile

Across Zimbabwe, 7 million people in urban and rural areas are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, compared to 5.5 million in August 2019. Since the launch of the Revised Humanitarian Appeal in August 2019, circumstances for millions of Zimbabweans have worsened. Drought and crop failure,  exacerbated by macro-economic challenges  and austerity measures, have directly affected vulnerable households in both rural and urban communities. Inflation continues to erode purchasing power and affordability of food and other essential goods is a daily challenge. The delivery of healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and education has been constrained and millions of people are facing challenges to access vital services.

There are more than 4.3 million people severely food insecure in rural areas in Zimbabwe, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, undertaken in February 2020. In addition, 2.2 million people in urban areas, are “cereal food insecure,” according to the most recent Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) analysis. Erratic and late 2019/2020 rains forebode the  possibility of  a second poor harvest. Nutritional  needs  remain high with over 1.1 million children and women requiring nutrition assistance. At least 4 million vulnerable Zimbabweans are facing challenges accessing primary healthcare and drought conditions trigger several health risks. Decreasing availability of safe water, sanitation and hygiene have heightened the risk of communicable disease outbreaks for 3.7 million vulnerable people. Some 1.2 million school-age children are facing challenges accessing education. The drought and economic situation have heighted protection risks, particularly for women and children.

A year after Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe, 128,270 people remain in need of humanitarian assistance across the 12 affected districts in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. There are 21,328 refugees and asylum seekers in Zimbabwe who need international protection and multisectoral life-saving assistance to enable them to live in safety and dignity.

Last update: March 2020