Vulnerability, poverty and coping in Zimbabwe

Martin Prowse, Kate Bird

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


This paper uses five life histories from three locations in Zimbabwe—one peri-urban,
one urban and one rural—to provide a window on current processes of impoverishment
and adverse coping. Each case and location highlight key aspects of Zimbabwe’s recent
economic and political turmoil. Together the cases suggest that, similar to Hoddinott’s
work on the persistence of the 1993-94 rainfall shock in rural Zimbabwe, above and
beyond increased mortality rates and morbidity levels, current adverse forms of coping
are creating widespread irreversible wellbeing losses. The persistent effects of the
current crisis surely adds weight to arguments that the international community should
be more, rather than less, proactive in delivering aid to the Zimbabwean people, despite
the politicization of aid and logistical difficulties.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnited Nations University, World Institute for Development Economics Research
Number of pages32
Place of PublicationHelsinki
ISBN (Print)9789292300890
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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