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Uganda Food Security Outlook Update April 2021 - In Karamoja, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely persist into August due to delayed cultivation

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KEY MESSAGES

• Delayed and below-average cumulative rainfall has delayed planting by at least three weeks in northern and parts of eastern Uganda. Near-average rainfall is forecasted in May and will likely support the development of late-maturing crops. However, the timing of the first season cereal and legume harvests will likely be delayed through early July, and aggregate production is expected to vary by subregion depending on the local amount and distribution of rainfall. Subnational production deficits are likely in northern and eastern Uganda, where rainfall may not be spread evenly in the crop cycle.

• Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected through at least September in most bimodal areas, driven by carryover stocks from 2020, below-average staple food prices, seasonal agricultural labor income during the March to May planting season, and the anticipated average harvest in July. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely among households in flood-affected areas and some urban areas, where livelihood activities were significantly disrupted in 2020 and income sources are still below pre-pandemic levels.

• In Karamoja, an increasing number of households face widening food consumption gaps and are utilizing negative livelihoods coping strategies, increasing the share of the population that is experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. While food prices are generally stable and below average in most reference markets, the casual labor wage and the price of firewood, charcoal, and goats are declining, resulting in significantly below-average terms of trade and reduced household purchasing power. Below-average rainfall to date resulted in limited on-farm labor opportunities and delayed land preparation and planting, while others lack access to seeds.

• Planned and funded food assistance (cash and in-kind) equivalent to a 60 percent ration has sustained Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes in April. Thereafter, an anticipated pipeline break in food assistance funding may result in further reductions in rations and food security outcomes. Refugees with arable plots are engaging in plowing and planting activities, though some lack access to inputs like seeds as others have yet to recover from the impacts of earlier COVID-19 movement restrictions on food and income sources. According to UNHCR/OPM, Uganda hosted 1,470,858 refugees and asylum seekers as of March 31st.