A family of five now requires $7 425 per month to run their monthly expenses, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) reported Monday.
The latest data shows that the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in April 2020 was $596.96 while that for an average household of five persons was $2,984.78
“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) or one person during the same period (April 2020) was $1,485.16 while that for an average of five persons per household stood at $7,425.81,” the agency said.
TCPL reflects the average amount a household requires to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor.
The rising cost of living comes against a background where government recently gazette the minimum wage which currently stands $2 500.
The continuous weakening of the Zimbabwe dollar against the United States dollar on the parallel market which has seen exchange rates hovering around 1:55 is a factor behind the rise in the cost of living since most businesses have adopted the habit of indexing prices against US$.
The (TCPL) for an average of five persons shot from $6 420,87 recorded in the month of March 2020.
The total food poverty line (TFPL) for an average of five persons in Zimbabwe stood at $2 365,15 in the month of March 2020.
The TCPL which is naturally higher than the FPL and is calculated using results of the poverty, income, consumption and expenditure survey done in 2017.
The emergence of the Covid19 pandemic which has forced government to enforce a continuous lockdown since March 29 is likely to further complicate the poverty status of Zimbabweans whose access to income has remained limited.
Inflation has also been reaching alarming levels of 676,39% as of March 20202 from 540,16% in February.
The severe droughts that hit the country in the last two agricultural seasons coupled with a devastating Cyclone Idai have further complicated the nation’s poverty status.