Monthly Price and Food Security Update Kyrgyz Republic, May 2012
According to WFP monthly food price monitoring in May 2012, the price of wheat flour continued to decrease and was 38% lower than a year ago. Similarly, the prices of other staple foods such as cabbage, onion, carrot and potatoes were lower than in May 2011 by 42%, 28%, 21% and 10% respectively.
However, the prices of beef, mutton and milk remain very high. In May 2012, the prices of beef and mutton were higher than in May 2011 by 19% and 12% respectively, mainly due to lack of fodder and a long, harsh winter. The price of milk increased 15% during the last 12 months.
The price of fuel (Petrol 92) sharply increased in mid-2010 and remains very high. In May 2012, the price was 14% higher than a year ago, while diesel prices increased 18% in the same period.
According to the results of the WFP Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) conducted in March 2012, an estimated 18% of households, or about 1 million people, were food insecure. In addition, about 20% of food secure households used negative coping strategies for accessing food in the winter of 2011-2012. This indicates that these households could be ‘at-risk’ of becoming food insecure in the event of further shocks.
Decreased food price is not necessarily good news as it may negatively affect suppliers, especially small ones, and lead to a significant increase in food insecurity in some oblasts. Further examination and analysis of selling prices of crops is required and will take place during the next assessment conducted by WFP.
Average household expenditures for electricity and gas increased significantly from 6% in August 2011 to 31% in March 2012, according to the EFSA. The amount of cash available for non-food expenditures for basic needs such as health and transportation was reduced.
Kazakhstan lifted a ban on the import of potatoes from the Kyrgyz Republic.
The government of the Kyrgyz Republic requested the Russian Federation to increase the volume of duty-free petroleum products by 30%.
Spring planting works reportedly started late this season as a result of a long and cold winter. According to the government estimation, however, more land was planted with wheat, vegetables and sugar beet than last year.
Mudflows and landslides in the south of the country in April and May 2012, which flooded more than 2,000 houses, schools and kindergartens, resulted in the death of at least two people, loss of livestock, electricity cut-offs and road closures. The government provided affected households with cash assistance, credits and construction materials at a subsidized price.
On May 13, 2012, an earthquake in the territory of Tajikistan, of magnitude 7.5, hit 170 km north-west from the Kyrgyz town of Batken. No casualties were reported.
On May 31, 2012 another three earthquakes hit the country. The first with a magnitude of 2 occurred in Naryn oblast, while a second earthquake of the same magnitude occurred in Chuy oblast. The third earthquake was of magnitude 4 in Karakol, although its epicentre in the territory of Kazakhstan registered at magnitude 7. No casualties were reported.