Harare,(New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s poverty datum line (PDL) jumped to $7 426 in April from $6 421 in March, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) said on Monday.
The data shows that financial requirements for a family of five to live a basic comfortable life and not be deemed poor, continued to go up while the economy is under a Covid-19 lockdown.
“The Total Consumption Poverty Line for one person during the same period was $1 485.16 while that for an average of five persons per household stood at $7 425.81,” Zimstat said.
The rise in the cost of living reflects the impact of inflation caused mainly by exchange rate instability which has seen the local currency lose its value against the United States dollar.
While government fixed the exchange rate at ZW$25 to US$1, prices, due to shortages of foreign currency on the official market, are largely influenced by the parallel market where the rate is over ZW$60 per greenback.
The 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.
Most workers are currently earning salaries that are about half the PDL, leaving most struggling to make ends meet.
The situation for both government and private companies has been compounded by the current Covid-19 lockdown that has forced companies to scale down operations, lay off some workers or cut their salaries.
The lockdown, which restricts citizens movement, is aimed at curbing spread of the deadly disease which has infected million and killed hundreds of thousands globally.