Below-average rainfall at usual start of season, though average season still forecast
In Eastern and Southern Provinces of Rwanda, little rainfall was received in September, the typical start of the short rainy season, delaying planting by three weeks in some areas. However, rainfall improved in October and forecasts indicate average rainfall through December. Average January harvests are still expected. With these harvests and grain stocks from last season, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes will persist through at least April 2019. However, below-average production is likely in isolated areas of Eastern Province, leading to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes among some poor households.
According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), food prices in rural areas decreased in September by 1.7 percent from August and 7.7 percent compared to the same time last year. Food prices typically increase in September and the atypical decrease has improved food access. Food prices are likely to remain relatively stable throughout the projection period and low prices, alongside normal labor demand and wages, will support favorable purchasing capacity.
According to UNHCR, Rwanda hosts about 150,000 refugees, the majority of whom are from the DRC and Burundi. In November, WFP will increase the use of cash transfers to provide humanitarian food assistance. Refugees residing in camps depend mostly on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs and it is expected most are in Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2!). The Government is also instituting measures to support integration into the wider economy, though many refugees would likely face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of assistance.