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Burundi: IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis, August - December 2020 (Published in September 2020)

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How severe, how many and when: In the current post-harvest period (between August and September), 42,000 people were classified as being in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), while 713,000 (6% of the analysed population) were classified as being in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and 3,293,000 (28%) in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). During the upcoming lean season (October to December) the population facing high levels of acute food insecurity is expected to increase to 1,335,000 people (11% of the analysed population). This means the proportion of populations in Crisis and Emergency phases would increase by 57% in the projected period compared to the current period.

Where and who: During the current period, all of the country’s livelihood zones (ZME) have been classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with the exception of the High Altitude ZME (HA) which is classified in Minimal Acute Food Insecurity (IPC Phase 1) for the first time. A few isolated localities which have been affected by climatic hazards (rising waters, floods and landslides), especially on the coast of Lake Tanganyika and Gatumba, are more vulnerable to food insecurity, but this does not impact the overall classification of the area. Households classified in Crisis and Emergency phases (mostly in border areas, or small urban centers) have been negatively impacted by measures to control the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, returnee households also struggle with fragile livelihoods.

Why: The combined effects of structural (poor access to land and production) and cyclical (climatic shocks) factors are the main drivers of the current acute food insecurity situation.
Regarding cyclical factors, excessive rains recorded during the first cropping season (2020A) continued until the full season (2020B). This led to production losses due to flooding and landslides, particularly in the western localities of the country. There are approximately 113,338 internally displaced people (IDPs) due to climatic hazards, with nearly 50% of these displacements occurred during the last two cropping seasons. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted trade (especially informal) in border areas and urban centers, and has restricted cross-border movements. This has lead to, among other things, a loss of labour opportunities and economic transfers to rural areas to finance agricultural production and other activities.