Average seasonal progress and access to income support continued Minimal (IPC Phase 1) Outcomes
• September to December 2019 Season A rainfall has been above average across the country and forecasts indicate rainfall for the remainder of the season will be average. Average harvests are expected from December 2019 to February 2020. Prices of staple foods are below the three-year average and are anticipated to remain low throughout the projection period. These factors will drive Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through May 2020.
• Despite the generally favorable production prospects, relatively heavy rainfall also increases risk of flooding in lowlands across the country and of localized landslides, particularly in the Western province. These disasters are likely to cause the loss of household assets and destruction of crops in some areas. Some households will face difficulty meeting their basic food and non-food needs immediately following these events, though the government and humanitarian partners are prepared to respond swiftly with assistance.
• According to the National Institute of Statistics, food prices in Rwanda increased between August and September by 4.4 and 2.4 percent for rural and urban areas respectively. FEWS NET and East African Grain Council data show that the price of maize, the cereal most consumed in Rwanda, has been increasing since June and reached its 5-year average level in August and September. That price increase is partly related to the closure of the main border post between Uganda and Rwanda which remains closed despite discussions for a reopening. As the price of maize grain and flour are generally lower in Uganda than in Rwanda (Figure 1), the resumption of normal trade between the two countries would likely contribute to lowering food prices in Rwanda, thus improving households’ access to food.
• Although they are gradually being integrated to the national social and economic systems, camp-based refugees (estimated population of 147,000) remain heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance. WFP Rwanda has reported that without additional funding, it will likely cut its food and cash-based assistance to camp-based refugees and other vulnerable groups. In the absence of assistance, these populations would likely be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).