No. 13: The State of Food Insecurity in Harare, Zimbabwe

This paper presents and discusses the results of that survey and shows that Harare had become the most food insecure city in the SADC region by 2008. Levels of food insecurity were extraordinarily high as poor households struggled to find the income to purchase what little food was available in the shops and informal markets. The paper demonstrates that participation in the informal food economy was the major response to the crisis, providing poor households with a modicum of food and income. Urban agriculture for home consumption also grew in importance as a crisis response. While the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe has stabilised somewhat since 2008, the long-term impact of many years of enforced food insecurity on the city population is incalculable. This paper concludes with the recommendation that ongoing monitoring of the urban food security situation in Harare is essential in order to begin to develop national and municipal policies that could ensure a food secure future for the city.

Godfrey Tawodzera, Lazarus Zanamwe and Jonathan Crush

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