Inflation fanning poverty

Zimcodd programmes

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has decried the country’s high inflation, blaming it for the increased

In a statement this week, Zimcodd said government had failed to provide social safety nets to members of the public despite rising poverty and food insecurity.

The World Bank states that inflation in Zimbabwe rose from 60,7% in December 2021 to 72,7% in March.

This has invariably seen prices of goods and basic food stuffs increasing with the price of a loaf of bread rising this week from $265 to $345.

Zimcodd programmes manager John Maketo told NewsDay that it is estimated that about 7,9 million people in the country live in extreme poverty.

“It is actually approximately half of the population of Zimbabwe living in extreme poverty,” Maketo said.

Zimcodd also tweeted: “The poverty levels have increased as the government has failed to provide adequate social protection to the vulnerable groups. The tax regime followed by government has been regressive, thus further affecting the poor citizens.”

Economist Prosper Chitambara said: “It’s generally true that inflation has increased poverty levels because what it does is that it reduces the real incomes and nominal incomes have failed to keep pace with the chronic high inflation trends that we have been seeing in the economy. Average wages are way below the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) family basket of six which is at $92 192,89 or ZimStat poverty datum lines. That creates challenges as most employed people have incomes that are below the poverty data line or the CCZ family basket.”

Chitambara said social protection is now imperative and it can be in the form of food aid or cash transfers.

Efforts to get a comment from Public Service and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima were fruitless.

Follow Athlai on Twitter@TatendaAthlai