As Zimbabwe’s maize production halved on Wednesday, the World Food Program predicted that 1.5 million Zimbabweans, amounting to 16% of the population, will require food aid by January 2016.
Despite a GDP growth projection of 2.8 per cent by the IMF, Zimbabwe’s mining, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors have suffered a downturn in recent times. Due to an uncertain political and regulatory climate, coupled with falling mineral prices, the mining sector of Zimbabwe is crumbling. Throw in a foreign debt of $9 billion, and the economy is not expected to recover anytime soon.
For over five years, the country has been struggling to recover from a disastrous economic recession marked by a billion per cent hyperinflation and extensive food shortages. As a result of a recurrent drought that has lasted the better half of the year, crop failure rates are at 60 per cent, and thousands of small scale farmers fear that they will go hungry this year.
Although Zimbabwe’s situation is aggravated by its current economic state, the impact of climate change on African economies can no longer be ignored. According to the Climate Change and Vulnerability Index for 2015, Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to Climate Change. Although African countries have some of the lowest overall and per capita emissions in the world, they are also likely to suffer the worst consequences of climate change.