Burundi Key Message Update, November 2018
Near-average Season A harvests expected
Although early seasonal rainfall was below average and poorly distributed, increased rainfall since mid-October will most likely lead to near-average Season A harvests at the national level. However, localized areas in northern Imbo Plains and Eastern Lowlands livelihood zones experienced more frequent dry spells and may have reduced yields. These areas are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with some poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), through at least April 2019. In some livelihood zones, including Northern and Southern Highlands, Northern Lowlands, Southern Imbo Plains and Buragane, household food stocks and low staple food prices are likely to sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes.
According to the Burundi Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (ISTEEBU), national staple food prices in October declined by 2.7 percent compared to September, which is seasonally atypical. The current price trend is likely driven by above-average Season C harvests and significant carry-over Season B household and commercial food reserves. Furthermore, poor households have benefited from stable agricultural labor demand, since planting was particularly staggered this season. Steady agricultural and non-agricultural labor income, combined with lower food prices, has improved food access.
UNHCR and WFP reported in October that the suspension of international NGOs had directly impacted food assistance and repatriation operations. By late November, however, the government had authorized many organizations to resume their activities. Congolese refugees living in settlements continue to receive humanitarian food assistance but are most likely Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). Given that most IDPs and returnees have few assets and live in drought- and flood-prone communes, most are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).