1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Targets:

  1. Halve, between 2002 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL)
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
  3. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people suffering from hunger
  4. Reduce by two-thirds between 2002-2015, the proportion of malnourished children under five

National Status and Perspectives

Zimbabwe has experienced improved economic growth rates in the past three years, rising from a negative GDP of 5.7% between 2001–2006 to 5.4% in 2009 and 9.3% in 2011. However, this has not translated to growth in productive employment and hence poverty reduction. This is likely due to weak connections between the growth sectors and other sectors of the economy.

In 2011, 72.3% of all Zimbabweans were considered poor, whilst 62.6% of the households in Zimbabwe are deemed poor. Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas compared to urban areas with about 76% of the rural households considered poor compared to 38.2% of urban households.

Individual poverty prevalence is 84.3% in rural areas compared to 46.5% in urban areas, while extreme poverty is 30.3% in rural areas compared to only 5.6% in urban areas.

The decline in formal employment, with many workers engaged in poorly remunerated informal jobs, has a direct bearing on both poverty and hunger. In 2011, 94% of paid employees received an income equal to or below the total consumption poverty line (TCPL) for an average family of five, while three out of every four employed persons in Zimbabwe are classified as ‘vulnerable employment’.

The percentage of food-insecure rural households at peak (January to March) declined steadily following the onset of economic recovery from 15% in 2010–2011 to 12% in 2011–2012. However, due to this year’s poor rainy season, the percentage of food-insecure rural households is projected to rise sharply, up to 32% for the period in 2013–2014, reflecting Zimbabwe’s reliance on rain-fed agriculture. The prevalence of underweight children under five years of age fell from 11.8% in 2009 to 10% in 2011, although this figure may be affected by the projected increase in food-insecure households.