Food basket price rise in Zambia, amid lockdowns-JCTR

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The Jesuits Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has attributed the rising food prices to the fall in the supply of certain foods owing to lockdowns introduced to halt the spread of Covid-19.

This follows the currently ongoing income challenges due to job losses and reduced income in the wake of Covid-19, said JCTR Programme Manager for Social and Economic Development, Chama Bowa.

Bowa expressed concern that the increase in the prices is leading many families to fall short in meeting their basic needs.

“Additional costs for COVID-19 prevention essentials such as masks, soaps and hand sanitisers have increased financial distress on poor and vulnerable households which now than ever before are in acute need of intervention for mere survival,” she said.

Bowa urged the Government to put strong measures to cushion households that had been negatively impacted by Covid-19.

With the projected close to 20 percent loss in revenue, Government faces significant challenges ahead.

Bowa said keen interest should be taken to address the looming hunger/ malnutrition situation in some households.

“We recommend that Government through its relevant agencies develops a clear roadmap and budget for “victims” of Covid-19 similar to the one being used for households hit by the 2020 floods.

“For example, vulnerable homes whose livelihoods depend on hand to mouth small scale businesses, may have been badly hit by the pandemic as their business activities have now reached their lowest ebb due to, among others, the stay at home preventive measure,” she said.

She called for strong measures for the promotion and respect the sanctity of human lives.

“While Government has announced a number of measures to ensure the economy stays afloat amidst Covid-19, measures are also needed to ensure that human lives are protected and well taken care of in this time of crisis,” she said.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31