HARARE – An average Zimbabwean family required at least $5,293 in February this year to meet its basic needs for it not to be deemed poor, a 17% jump from $4,492 the previous month, latest data shows.
The jump reflects a continued increase in the prices of goods and services which are keeping pace with movements in a market characterised by inflationary pressures and volatile exchange rates.
With the parallel rate shooting from 23:1 to 32:1 in mid February, prices were adjusted accordingly.
“The Food Poverty Line for one person in February 2020 was $419 while that for an average household of five persons stood at $2,097,” the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) said in a statement.
The poverty line is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living; in other words, having insufficient income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health.
“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person was $1,059 while for an average five person household it stood at $5,293 for the same period.”
This means that for one person to be able to have a roof over their head, eat three meals a day and travel to work daily among other things they needed $1 059 and a family of five needed $5 293.
TCPL is commonly referred to as the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).
International Labour Organisation recommends that the PDL should be used as a benchmark or reference point in determining minimum wages. However in the current environment, wage growth is lagging behind inflation.