The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Thursday said at least a third of Zimbabwe’s total population faces starvation as a result of high inflation and exchange rate fragilities, which have been compounded by a poor rainfall season,
Zimbabwe has an estimated population of 16 million people and a third translates to over five million people.
In a statement released following the conclusion of its 2022 Article IV Consultation, the IMF said one of the most immediate, crucial interventions that Zimbabwe required was to end the currency crisis.
This would be a vital step in limiting the impact of bad policies, IMF said.
However, it commended the government for swiftly combating the COVID-19 pandemic, although policy missteps were now overshadowing its interventions. IMF said:
High double-digit inflation and wide parallel foreign exchange market premium have persisted. Poverty has risen and about a third of the population is at risk of food insecurity.
In the past three years, Zimbabwe has been held back by exogenous shocks, including drought and a string of cyclones, which led to a deep recession.
The government has already ruled out this year’s farming season following inconsistent rains.
Senators recently urged the government to raise the maize producer price to lure more farmers into growing the crop.
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