The political situation in Zimbabwe has become increasingly strained following the Zimbabwean army’s removal of President Robert Mugabe in November 2017. The country is in economic crisis, its impact seen in the costs and reduced availability of food, fuel, and medicines. With legitimate and alternative currencies quickly devaluing against the US dollar, inflation and liquidity shortages are expected to worsen unless effective measures are taken. Should the economy collapse, as in 2008, serious consequences for food security and health are very likely.?

Some 5.6 million people are estimated in urgent need of humanitarian assistance from February to May 2019, with at least 5.3 million people facing Crisis (IPC 3) or Emergency (IPC 4) food insecurity levels as droughts and the economic crisis affect food prices, access, and availability. ? This is a dramatic increase from the estimated 567,000 people classified as food insecure in June 2018.? At the same time cholera and typhoid outbreaks are putting extreme pressure on Zimbabwe’s underfunded health system and dilapidated WASH infrastructure. ?

The already fragile humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is compounded by the impact of Tropical Cyclone Idai, which affected around 270,000 people in Manicaland, Masvingo, and parts of Mashonaland East provinces. ? Underlying vulnerabilities such as high food security levels, limited livelihood opportunities and limited access to health services have been reinforced, including the risks of renewed outbreaks of waterborne diseases. ?

INFORM measures Zimbabwe’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster at 5.2/10 mainly referencing droughts and floods. Lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are of particular concern at 5.7/10 and 5.2/10 respectively.?



Latest Developments


17/10/2019: The economic crisis in Zimbabwe has severely disrupted health services across the country.  A lack of currency and rising prices has resulted in medicine shortages and lack of equipment in health facilities. The ongoing doctor’s strike, in which approximately 50 percent of the country’s public doctors are taking part, has caused major staff shortages in public hospitals. Reports indicate that patients have been turned away from health facilities and have begun rationing their prescriptions due to a lack of health care providers, medication, and adequate equipment. The ailing health system is particularly concerning given that recent water shortages have contributed to an increase in diarrhoeal disease, raising fears of a potential outbreak.?

08/10/2019: The main water treatment plant in Harare was shut down on 24 September, leaving 2 million people in the capital city and surrounding areas without access to running water. The plant was forced to close due to a lack of foreign currency needed to purchase water treatment chemicals. The water crisis is raising concerns of waterborne disease since many residents have resorted to drinking water from shallow boreholes that are often contaminated. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, with annual inflation rates reaching 300% in August and citizens endure shortages of fuel and electricity. The economic situation is wreaking havoc on a country that is already suffering from widespread water shortages and food insecurity due to severe drought. ?

Key Figures

People in Need
drought affected population
people affected by Cyclone Idai
Key figures are for the entire response and are not CCCM-specific.

INFORM Global Crisis Severity Index

Crisis Severity: 3.4

Impact: 2.3

Humanitarian Conditions: 4

Complexity: 3

Access Constraints: 1

The above scale is from 0 (Very low) to 5 (Very high)
Information courtesy of ACAPS.
Response Overview

Key Figures - 2019 HPC

in need
People targeted
Funding required



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Cluster Meeting Minutes - 25th April 2019 25 Apr 2019
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HDX datasets

7 Common Operating Datasets or CCCM-tagged datsets are on the Humanitarian Data Exchange: