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Rwanda Food Security Outlook April 2014

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Stressed food security outcomes observed during the peak of lean season

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The Eastern Congo-Nile Highland Subsistance Farming and the Eastern Semi Arid and Eastern Agro-pastoral zones depleted their food stocks one month earlier than normal due to around 50 percent below-average season A harvests for maize and beans in January/February. In order to cope, poor households in these areas will engage in irreversible coping strategies and face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity until the next harvests in June, when household will be in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) through September.

The long rainy (March-April-May) season started normally in early March, but poorly-distributed seasonal rainfall since mid-March has led to deteriorating ground conditions in southern and eastern parts of the country, threatening crop development. Normal Season B harvests in June/July are expected to replenish household food stocks across Rwanda, but areas of concern with proneness to dryspell and flooding should continue to be monitored closely.

Food prices are atypically high during the current lean season, up 30 to 60 percent against the two-year average. This is due to a lack of carryover stock from the below-average Season A harvest. Prices are expected to continue to increase until the arrival of the harvest in June. However, poor households in most areas are still accessing food through normal livelihood strategies and are facing Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.