HARARE – The average Zimbabwean needed at least $4 426 not to be considered poor in November 2020. This translates to US$1.80 per day and this is a significant improvement from October 2020 levels of US$1.53 but still leaves citizens with low disposable income for savings.
The World Bank defines as poor, a society which lives below US$1.90 per day while it has a standard of US$3.20 for middle income countries and US$5.50 for upper middle-income countries. Zimbabwe is targeting to be an upper middle-income country by 2030 but with poverty levels and inequality rising, the target is increasingly becoming difficult to achieve.
According to data from Zimstat, the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person stood at $4 426 which was higher than the $3 750 needed in October. The TCPL for one person shows an increase of 18.02% as the cost increased by $676 over the figure reported in October.
The differences between the TCPL bands on the country’s ten provinces has somewhat increased significantly against the national average highlighting differences in the resumption of economic activities in different provinces over the period. The highest living cost per person was registered in Mashonaland Central, a traditionally poor province, where an individual needed $5 410 for their total consumption, while Harare is at $4 192.56. Matebeleland South has the lowest total living cost per person of $3 625.59.
Zimstat conducts the TCPL survey based on 495 items and is based on the average size of households established at the last population census in 2012. The ILO recommends that the TCPL should be used as a benchmark or reference point in determining minimum wages.
In terms of the food poverty line (FPL), an individual in Zimbabwe needed $3 279 up 115.00% from $1 522 in October to consume 2 100 calories recommended by health practitioners.