Early crop production of 2021 B Season improves food access in the north
Favorable climatic conditions characterised by above and near-average rainfall between March and May is expected to result in above-average 2021 B Season crop production from June to August at the national level. Above-average rainfall, however, led to localized flooding in April along Lake Tanganyika and the Rusizi River, destroying crops and displacing around 45,000 people in Bujumbura Rural and Rumonge provinces.
Staple food prices remained stable in April and May, the lead up to the harvest period. Maize, bean, and sweet potato prices decreased five to 10 percent between March and April 2021 but remained 10 to 25 percent higher than five-year average levels. Food prices will start to seasonally decrease from June to August, improving food access in general.
Improved food access, compared to the April lean season period, from own crop production supported Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes in most of the country throughout May. Improved access is expected in the Northern Lowlands livelihood zone due to likely above-average 2021 B Season crop production beginning in June. However, the Eastern Lowlands livelihood zone will continue to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes due to lost cross-border income earning opportunities with COVID-19 related border closures.
For specific populations, the 24,500 returnees who arrived between March to May and began to receive three months of assistance are experiencing None! (IPC Phase 1!) food security outcomes. 40,000 IDPs in the Imbo Plains and 50,000 Congolese refugees were assisted with 120g of beans, 25g of oil and 5g of salt per person and per day in March, and April, and May. However, 33,650 returnees who arrived between October and February, have already exhausted their food assistance, have yet to harvest crops, and have limited access to income sources, will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes until September. The 45,400 people, recently displaced by floods of Lake Tanganyika and the Rusizi River, are not currently receiving humanitarian assistance, and are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3).