News Alerts

08 Oct 2018 | 11:55 AM UTC

Zimbabwe: Tensions over possible lack of basic commodities

Zimbabwe News Alert

Rumors of shortages due to rising prices of basic goods in recent weeks; related unrest possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/8/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/12/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe

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Event

An increase in prices of basic commodities has been reported in the past few weeks in Zimbabwe due to an ongoing currency crisis, prompting "panic buying" amid reports of shortages. According to local sources, the country has been running out of essential medical drugs and fuel supplies have fallen in recent weeks due to importers' inability to secure foreign currency.

Context

Authorities in Zimbabwe are trying to avoid a repeat of the 2007-2008 economic crisis that crippled the country. At that time, the government tried to control the prices of basic goods during a period of hyperinflation, which wiped out most people's savings and left store shelves empty.

The country has been experiencing a deteriorating economic situation for more than a year, due in part to a lack of liquidity. As of October 2018, inflation rates continue to accelerate as the government prints "bond notes" in response to cash shortages linked to foreign currency shortages. The government had hoped that the July 30 elections would lead to increased and much-needed foreign investment, but this has not yet happened.

Advice

Individuals in Zimbabwe are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation and avoid any associated protests due to the risk of violence. Those planning travel to the country are advised to bring a sufficient reserve of US dollars.

 

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