Burundi + 2 more

WFP/FAO/UNHCR joint needs assessment: Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania - 18 Mar to 8 Apr 2006


Executive Summary

The WFP/FAO/UNHCR Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) was undertaken at the request of the WFP Executive Board (EB) at its Second Regular Session in November 2005. The continuation of the Great Lakes Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) was to be informed by a robust needs assessment. This assessment was complemented by a review of coordination and management mechanisms and by a food production and market analysis to address key issues raised by the EB regarding the implementation of the regional PRRO and opportunities for local and regional procurement.

The massive movement of almost three million people triggered by the conflicts in Rwanda and Burundi in the early 1990s are still affecting the human and social condition of refugees living in camps in Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The conflicts also impacted the resident population confronted by increased levels of poverty and food insecurity. Recently, the Governments of Rwanda and Burundi have made progress towards national reconciliation and economic recovery, although not at the same pace. Burundi has achieved political transition while Rwanda has advanced further, making rapid progress towards a post-recovery situation focusing on development activities. Tanzania still carries the burden of hosting the largest refugee caseload in Africa. WFP should adjust its programmes to changing needs.

In Burundi, a further shift is required from relief assistance for displaced people (refugees, internally displaced persons [IDPs] and returnees), malnourished children and severely food insecure people, to recovery activities for those whose livelihoods are affected by the enduring social and economic consequences of the conflict. According to the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA), between 20 and 30 percent of households in some provinces of the North and North West are severely food insecure. These households, who barely consume one staple food per day (and oil and vegetables once or twice a week) and produce or have the means to purchase only 1,300 kilo calories per day, are highly dependent on food purchases. Their income comes from daily labour that permits them to purchase only 3,500 kcal for the entire family. There is also a high prevalence of wasting (8 percent) and very high prevalence of stunting (51 percent) among the children of these households.

WFP Burundi should focus on activities that primarily address the needs of severely food insecure people in four priority zones affected by chronic food insecurity and acute crises such as recurrent droughts and plant diseases (mainly Cassava Mosaic Disease). Relief interventions serve essentially as safety nets to avoid any further deterioration of the household food security and nutrition situation. They should be complemented by recovery activities that contribute to the sustainable improvement of community and household assets, including education. Approximately 500,000 people should receive a relief ration twice a year during the lean seasons. Relief is also to be provided to malnourished children and their families. Similar numbers of people require support through Food For Work (FFW), school feeding and Mother and Child Health (MCH) activities. In terms of resources, the proportion of relief should decrease from 42 percent in 2007 to 33 percent in 2008 (for a yearly total tonnage of approximately 75,000). The food security situation will be monitored regularly and the relief component may be scaled up in case of emergency.

In Rwanda, although economic recovery is clearly underway, the needs of the most vulnerable are not yet effectively addressed as reflected in progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) regarding poverty, hunger, child mortality and maternal health. Major factors affecting the most food insecure groups include: limited access to land, seasonal food insecurity associated with reliance on subsistence agriculture, recurrent drought and a lack of buffer stocks (cassava has almost disappeared in some areas because of disease). Preliminary results of the Comprehensive Food Security Vulnerability Assessment (CFSVA) show that in the most food insecure districts, one third of people ate one daily meal while half of the children ate two meals or less (a quarter had one or no meals) the day before the survey. Single headed households with less than 0.1 ha of land or more than six family members are most prone to food insecurity.

In addition to humanitarian assistance to be provided to 42,700 refugees from DRC and Burundi (this will decrease as over 12,000 refugees repatriate in 2007 and 15,000 in 2008), WFP Rwanda should focus on protecting and strengthening livelihoods in the most food insecure households. Food For Work interventions are recommended in areas where cash interventions are not appropriate because of market access constraints and limited food availability, or when relevant funding is not available. Based on the vulnerability criteria, WFP has estimated that approximately 210,000 people need Food For Work in 14 priority food insecure provinces. The CFSVA results will be used to confirm and/or refine the intervention modalities, the number of beneficiaries and the targeting. The resource requirements are projected to decrease from 16,600 tons in 2007 to 13,700 tons in 2008.

In Tanzania, if the repatriation process for Burundian refugees takes off by mid-2006 and the outcome of the DRC elections is positive, the following repatriation planning figures may materialize: 110,000 will leave the camps in 2007 and 100,000 in 2008 with approximately 101,000 refugees remaining by 2009. These returnee movements will be closely monitored. Refugee mobility in Tanzania is restricted and refugees are not officially given access to land, labour or income generating activities outside the camps. They are therefore limited in their abilities to be self-reliant, which does not allow for the phasing out of food and non-food assistance. Host communities should continue to receive support for access to water and sanitation, health, nutrition and education- services that are made available to the refugees. The total requirements will decrease from approximately 50,000 tons of commodities in 2007 to approximately 28,000 tons in 2008.

Overall, this JNA recommends clearly targeted interventions to geographic areas and food insecure households and a shift from relief to recovery as refugees repatriate. As compared with the last Regional PRRO for the Great Lakes, the needs and resource requirements have been adjusted according to the changing context, and social and economic progress will determine WFP exit strategies and shift to development interventions in the medium-term.

In regards to local and regional procurement, the Great Lakes region has experienced recurrent drought periods resulting in reduced food production and substantial price increases. Recommendations are based on past trends and prospects.

Burundi has experienced a per capita food production decrease of 24 percent since 1993 due to household reduction in access to land and deteriorating productivity due to lack of inputs and technical support. Food stocks are inadequate, markets are not well integrated and food commodity prices have increased substantially since 2003. It is therefore not recommended to undertake local procurement beyond the 500 to 800 tons of palm oil purchased in the past. A more in-depth-market analysis will be done to inform potential for non-food interventions including cash responses.

Rwanda has also faced an unusual situation as erratic rains resulted in a deficit of 175,000 tons cereal equivalent after the last harvest of 2006. Markets are well integrated however, and when production and price levels for maize and beans are reasonable (and below import parity prices), local procurement could be carried out at the same level as in past years, i.e. 2500 tons. This can be increased as production and availability improves.

Though Tanzania is self-sufficient in staple crops of maize during normal years, drought occurred in most regions this year and production decreased by 50-70 percent in some parts of the country. The cereal deficit (mainly maize, sorghum, millet and rice) is nearly 400,000 tons. Surplus markets are not adequately supplying deficit regions, probably because of slack demand and high transport costs. Food prices have therefore been increasing steadily in those areas, while the supply situation has been exacerbated by exports to neighbouring countries. Still, Tanzania is a major regional food commodity supplier to WFP and once production and availability have recovered, WFP procurements in Tanzania should reach past levels of 40,000 tons/year.

The review of the management structure of the regional project approach concluded that, on balance, there were no net benefits in maintaining a regional approach. The situation has changed since 1995 and the particular context in each country now calls for separate countrybased interventions. The flexibility afforded by a regional approach, particularly with regard to resource allocation, is no longer called for now that the environment in each country is more stable and movement of people across borders can be better planned and managed. Any future need to move resources can be readily accommodated within country-based projects. The majority of programmes in Rwanda and Burundi do not target refugees and returnees. They are instead focused on relief and recovery interventions for the resident population.

For future support requirements, donors tend to prefer high impact country specific projects over more general regional projects. The benefits of having a central management and technical support function in a regional project are not as evident and any efficiency gained is overridden by the benefits that would accrue from enhancing in-country capacities.

Recent political developments now call for a stronger collaboration with Government in the three countries, ensuring greater State ownership of interventions and strategies. Within each country, different challenges need to be addressed and both the Government and donors have moved into more coordinated strategic frameworks. A country-based approach in line with Government and donor priorities is therefore preferable.

Overall, separate country-based approaches are recommended, with the Regional Bureau moving towards its normal function: To provide strong and effective support and guidance rather than project management.

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