Poverty in Zimbabwe

Situated in the southern part of the African continent with a total land area of about 386,847 square kilometers, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers, is a landlocked country named Zimbabwe. The majesty of its landscapes combined with striking natural beauty is truly wonderful. But one of the major problems affecting the lives of the people of Zimbabwe is the extent of poverty which is demolishing the lives of the millions of Zimbabweans. With a population of about 13 million people, Zimbabwe stands as one of the poorest countries in the world. Almost 70percent of the population are living below the poverty line.

Almost 70percent of the population are living below the poverty line.

As has been seen in most poor countries, so also in Zimbabwe it has been found that poverty in rural households is higher than in urban households.  The incidence of food shortages is on the rise as income from farm and production are not adequate to help the poor. Therefore, households are increasingly depending on remittances and emergency aids. To add to the worries, the male members of the family constantly venture out of their homes in search of employment, leaving the women folks and the children relying on themselves to feed their stomach. The women became the sole bread earner of the family and these households are nearly always the most disadvantaged. Also the families with small plots of land had to suffer more along with those who don’t have access to animals for draught power. These are the most vulnerable groups among all.

Food insecurity has become a pain in the neck for both the rural and the urban population and there seems to be no solution at hand. This has resulted in making Zimbabwe a net importer of food products and millions of people are increasingly dependent on food aid. Since the economic crisis started in the late 1990s, it has been estimated that approximately 20 percent of the population has fled the country in search of better opportunities. This has resulted in the decline of human resources. In addition to this, farming is becoming increasingly difficult due to deforestation, land degradation and soil erosion. This has led 5 million people with no food and harvest or other essentials. A huge number of Zimbabweans have already fled the country of their origin, but those who are left behind are suffering under extreme poverty with a hope that their conditions will be improved sooner or later.


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