Zim poverty datum line for a family of $5 rose to $7.4k in April

By Almot Maqolo

An average Zimbabwean family required at least $7 425 in April this year to meet its basic needs for it not to be deemed poor, a 16% jump from $6 420 the previous month, latest data shows. But, the new Poverty Datum Line (PDL) is US$297 at interbank rate of 25x and US$98.87 at the prevailing parallel market rate of 65.

The jump reflects a continued increase in the prices of goods and services which wants to keep pace with movements in the market characterised by inflationary pressures and volatile exchange rates.

“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person during the same period (April 2020) was $1,485.16 while that for an average of five persons per household stood at $7,425.81,” the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) said in a tweet. TCPL is commonly referred <span style=”font-size: 1em;”>to as 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.

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.

Zimstat added that: “The Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in April 2020 was $596.96 while that for an average household of five persons was $2,984.78.” FPL represents the minimum consumption needed to ensure that each household member can (if all expenditures were devoted to food) consume a minimum food basket representing 2 100 calories.

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