Poverty defies government’s relief

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  • FPL for one up by 8%
  • FPL for an average of five stood at $2004
  • TCPL for an average of five persons rose by 7%

Harare- Latest data released by the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) indicates that the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in January stood at $401 an 8% increase from $373 in December while that for an average household of five persons was $2 004, up by 8% from $1.862 in December as the economic environment remains unstable.

This has been the trend and is an indication of the hardships being faced by the general public in the country as the harsh economy has not swayed in a positive direction as government’s policies aimed at changing the lives of people for the better.

Government has been implementing various policies in a move it says is aimed at creating a middle-income economy by 2030.

However, these policies have not done much to improve the standards of living as prices of goods keep on increasing on a regular basis while salaries remain subdued, resulting in most people staying below the poverty datum line.

The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one was $898 while for an average of five persons it was $4.492 from $4.188 in December, an increase of 7%.

The situation on the ground in the country is bordering on desperation for most citizens due to failure to afford most of their basic needs be it in terms of food and other goods and services such as school fees.

Food shortages for basics such as mealie meal are being experienced in the country as evidenced by long queues in retail shops and in the cases, customers have to write down their personal details in log books to ensure that they do not buy more until a certain period has passed.

Despite the government subsidizing grain to ensure that even the less privileged can afford mealie meal, there are still shortages of the commodity accompanied by some allegations that mealie meal is being sold illegally outside the country as people seek to gain forex.

These are just some of the signs of what the country is going through among other problems that include lack of electricity supply, whose tariffs have recently been increased, low yields for those who grow their own crops due to below normal rainfall despite the season picking up beginning of the year 2020.

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