High food prices will likely lead to an increase in the number of food-insecure households
• Although food availability and access are expected to be sufficient to support Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in rural Rwanda, the number of people that are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is expected to be atypically high during the main lean season in October and November. Subsistence farmers will likely have slight to moderate reductions in crop yields for the Season B 2022 and Season A 2023 harvests due to reduced access to fertilizer, unfavorable Season B rainfall distribution in Eastern Province, and a forecast of below-average Season A rainfall. Small ruminant and poultry production and migratory labor will likely help many farmers cope with these losses, but food inflation – linked to regional trade issues, global supply chain issues, and the Russian-Ukraine war – will place pressure on household purchasing power.
• Kigali City is also expected to sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes, but the adverse effects of food and non-food inflation on household purchasing power are similarly expected to drive an atypical increase in the number of people that are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). While food prices are relatively low compared to the rest of the East Africa region, monthly food inflation has averaged 4.9 percent since January, and annual food inflation reached a high of 24 percent in May. Unemployment is slightly above pre-pandemic levels, economic growth projections have been revised downward, and wages are unlikely to keep pace with inflation.
• The estimated 127,340 refugees and asylees in Rwanda are likely to remain Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). While demand for informal petty trade and labor – which are common sources of income for displaced households – likely improved amid growing economic activity in early 2022, rising food prices are outpacing the purchasing power of household income and cash-based humanitarian food assistance. Looking forward, the displaced population is expected to be disproportionally affected by the economic fallout of high food and fuel prices, which will likely constrain demand for informal goods and services. Without food aid, this population would likely face food consumption gaps indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3).