The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has noted with concern the increase in the cost of living as has been measured by the Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) for the month of March 2020.
In a statement made available to the Lusaka Star, JCTR Deputy Director Father Alex Muyebe said in March 2019, the JCTR BNNB which measures the cost of living for a family of five (5) stood at K5, 543.16 while the March 2020 Basket stood at K7, 014.13.
Evidently the cost of living as measured by the BNNB still remains a challenge for the larger Zambian population, the upward movement that has been seen in essential products like mealie meal, rices, potatoes and cooking oil comes with implications especially on nutrition,said Father Alex Muyebe.
Father Muyebe added that JCTR further projects an increase in the cost of living owing to the 21 day economic lock-down that South Africa began on March 27,2020 in view of the current COVID-19 global health crisis.
Government should increase resource allocation and diversify the agriculture sector, this will contribute to more constant supply of some food and help keep prices low,he said.
The JCTR Deputy Director has further advised government to employ effective measures to cushion the poor in times of crisis.