Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily.
Poverty is widespread – 64 per cent of the total population lives below the poverty line, rising to 80 per cent in rural areas, meaning they do not have adequate income to meet their basic food requirements.
Such poverty automatically implies deprivation for children. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey cites 65 per cent of women in female headed households choosing to reduce the number of family meals per day as their only coping mechanism, especially in the months of the hungry season before the harvest.
Beyond the sensation of hunger, this lack of nourishment means children in such households are highly likely to have impaired physical and cognitive development.