Average Season A harvest increases food availability and lowers food prices
• The overall favorable 2020/2021 Season A harvest has increased food availability and contributed to low food prices. Increased market supply of produce, particularly potatoes, beans, and maize, has driven a decline in rural market food prices and increased household purchasing power. Improved household food access and income from the sale of crops is driving Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in rural areas.
• Following a three-week lockdown in Kigali, economic activity has resumed but remains below average. Restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 remain in place, including an 8 pm to 4 am curfew, travel restrictions between Kigali and other provinces and districts, and 30 percent of essential staff at businesses. The COVID-19 restrictions continue to limit food and income-earning opportunities, particularly among the urban poor households engaged in casual labor, petty trade, and small business. However, the recent loosening of COVID-19 measures is expected to increase income-earning opportunities and maintain area-level Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in urban areas.
• On February 12, WFP announced that it requires 9 million USD to avert a 60 percent reduction of food assistance to refugees beginning in March. Approximately 135,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees currently rely on humanitarian assistance. Despite the reductions, WFP will maintain full rations for around 51,000 refugees identified as particularly vulnerable, including children under two years, pregnant and nursing mothers, people living with HIV, and tuberculosis patients under treatment. Ration reductions are expected to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity within refugee communities.