Rwanda + 1 more

Rwanda Key Message Update, August 2017

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Situation Report
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Favorable Season B and C harvests and falling food prices improve food security

Key Messages
- Two months after average to above-average 2017 Season B harvests, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity persists across Rwanda. In localized areas where production was below average, such as in Bugesera (mainly Rweru Sector) and Rusizi districts, many poor households are offsetting their losses and earning extra income by working in road construction, engaging in casual agricultural labor for the ongoing Season C (July to September) in the marshlands or preparing land for the 2018 Season A (September to January). However, the poorest, most affected households in these areas are likely facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.
- Since May, staple food prices continue to fall due to Season B production as well as Season C harvests, with sweet potatoes and various vegetables already hitting the markets. However, food prices remain above last year’s levels. According to the National Institute Statistics of Rwanda, cereal prices in urban areas in July 2017 were 10.3 percent higher than in July 2016, while the prices of beans and other non-cereal staples were 5.9 percent higher than a year ago.
- Food prices are likely to typically rise at the end of August ahead of the lean season, but with average rainfall forecast for Season A, a favorable harvest is likely, which is expected to moderate price increases. With the harvest in December and January improving food availability, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to be maintained across Rwanda; however, there is still a possibility that some poor households may continue to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
- According to UNCHR as of July 31, Rwanda hosted nearly 170,000 refugees. Approximately 54 percent of these are from Burundi, and about 55,000 of them live in Mahama Camp in Kirehe District. The 2017 Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan is facing a 92 percent funding gap, which affects camp operations in Mahama and makes future WFP pipeline breaks and ration reductions likely. Burundian refugees in Mahama Camp are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes as they are entirely dependent on WFP assistance.