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Burundi Remote Monitoring Update, December 2019

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Continued heavy rainfall impacts crops and livelihoods, though harvest prospects remain above average


• Above-average rainfall continued in November, leading to extensive flooding, mainly in the Humid Plateaus, and landslides, mainly in the western Congo-Nile Ridge zones. This negatively impacted moisture-sensitive bean and Irish potato crops, but benefited maize, bananas, roots, and tubers. Overall, an above-average harvest is expected in December-February, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes anticipated through May 2020.
However, areas affected by flooding or landslides will likely face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or worse outcomes.

• Prices of most staple foods remained stable in November, though prices of maize continued to increase. According to the consumer price index for food products published by ISTEEBU, food prices increased by 1.4 percent between October and November 2019 – a small increase during a lean period. Food prices were 6.5 percent higher in November 2019 compared to November 2018, mainly driven by the prices of bread and cereals, which were 14.8 percent higher.

• Burundian refugees continue to return from Tanzania at a slower pace than the 2,000 per week planned by the Burundian and Tanzanian governments in August 2019. According to UNHCR, 409 Burundian refugees returned in the month of November – the lowest total since January. As of November, only one of the three transit centers was functioning. As a result, many new returnees will likely face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) or worse food security outcomes until May 2020.