By Owen Mandovha
THE improving economic environment has cushioned both rural and urban households to the negative economic impact of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
This is according to a report produced by the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) dubbed: Monitoring COVID-19 Impact on Households in Zimbabwe, which has shown that both urban and rural households have remained resilient against the negative impact of the COVID-19 induced lockdowns.
For instance, households affording to buy cooking oil have risen from 46 percent to 54 percent between July 2020 and May 2021.
Those able to buy maize meal have increased from 43 percent to 56 percent and in respect of chicken, a shift from 18 to 25 percent has been registered over the same period.
Economist, Titus Mukove notes that the improvements in the general macro-economic environment have created a buffer for many households.
“The situation around the economy has changed over the last couple of years and it is not surprising to see these results. There has been a general stability of prices courtesy of the reforms instituted by the Government. So the financial wellbeing of households improves.”
In other countries, the pandemic has weighed on the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens but for Zimbabwe, food insecurity has gone down, with the report indicating that food-insecure households have declined from 27 percent to 18 percent.
“Food security is key to the well-being of every citizen and the report indicate that households have been able to sustain themselves due to the improving purchasing power.”
Going forward, the agency anticipates the government’s Pfumvudza Intwasa project to further sustain households’ food security.
The survey was funded by the World Bank and UNICEF.