Rwanda

Rwanda Key Message Update: Food availability enhanced with Season B harvest, but high prices persist, July 2022

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Key Messages

  • The season B harvest in July is enhancing food availability, driving Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes across rural areas. However, in Eastern Province, some shortfalls in bean production are expected due to poor rainfall distribution. In addition, Northern Province will likely see shortfalls in Irish potato production, due to the high cost of farm inputs (fertilizer, pesticides, improved seeds) that have led farmers to reduce planted acreage. Typically, Northern Province produces 70 percent of the country's Irish potato supply and households rely on sales of potatoes for income. Lowland marshland areas in Southern Province may also see atypical harvest shortfalls for the minor Season C harvest in September due to heavy rainfall.

  • The number of people that are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is likely to peak in rural areas during the October to November lean season, when household reliance on purchasing food from the market is highest. High food prices persist, with prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rising by 27 percent above June of last year, according to the June 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. Most poor households will rely on income earned from small ruminant and poultry production and both agricultural and casual labor to purchase food. Government support and improving cross-border trade flows with Uganda will also help cushion household food access.

  • Kigali City is also likely to sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes, reinforced by relative improvements in economic activity and income-earning opportunities in 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021. However, high food prices will continue to constrain household purchasing power, especially among the urban poor, resulting in an atypical number of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) households. The latest CPI report indicates the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages in urban areas rose by 25 percent in June compared to the same period of 2021.

  • Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes will likely be sustained among the estimated 127,340 refugees and asylees in Rwanda, a phase that would likely be worse in the absence of ongoing humanitarian food assistance. As confirmed by WFP's June 2022 brief, around 93 percent of the refugee population received a cash-based transfer intended to cover 46-92 percent of their monthly kilocalorie needs. However, the purchasing power of the ration is declining, with WFP's June 2022 price monitoring data showing the cost of the food basket increased by 12 and 54 percent, respectively, compared to May 2022 and June 2021.