Dear prayer partners,

On 18 April, Zimbabwe marked 40 years of independence, but there was not much to celebrate as Zimbabweans face back-to-back droughts, which has crippled its corn production.  According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), more than 7.7 million people, half the population of Zimbabwe, will face food insecurity as poor rains and weather patterns have negatively impacted harvests. Water shortages are a daily struggle for many. On 22 January, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) received 100,000 tonnes of maize from South Africa and Brazil. The country only has this as its strategic reserves, which is not expected to last longer than a month.

In addition, there has been a recent outbreak of malaria which has resulted in 135,585 cases and 131 deaths, in just three weeks. Amidst this health challenge, 25 cases of COVID-19, with three deaths, have been confirmed. On 30 March, President Emmerson Mnangagwa called a state of emergency and announced a 21-day lockdown, which he recently extended by a further two weeks in the hope of combatting the spread of Covid-19.

The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), in its report on Covid-19, stated that there will be a huge impact on the economy. An estimated 75% of informal jobs and 25% of formal employment is expected to be lost as a result of the lockdown. The lockdown has left many in Zimbabwe without an income and food, at a time when the country is struggling with its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Zimbabwe faces multiple challenges – drought, malaria, Covid-19, ongoing economic hardship (further exacerbated by the lockdown) – on multiple fronts.

Please join with us in praying for Zimbabwe.

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” (Oswald Chambers)