Localized harvest of Irish potatoes and food stocks stabilize rural food security
Food access in rural areas has stabilized with the start of Irish potato harvests in the Northern province, availability of 2021 Season B/C food stocks, and availability of inter-season crops like cassava and bananas. The easing of border restrictions, particularly with DRC, has enhanced cross-border trade, improving food supply and income among small-scale traders. Ongoing weeding and fertilizer applications have sustained a stable demand for agricultural labor, increasing poor rural household incomes and mitigating lean season impacts, driving Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in rural areas.
COVID-19 control measures have been steadily lifting amidst sustained declines in daily COVID-19 cases and the on-going vaccination campaign. Businesses have gradually re-opened, income earning opportunities have improved, and trade has increased resulting in increased food supplies, stabilizing food security for urban households. Though livelihood activities are yet to fully recover, increasing household purchasing power and stable food prices are maintaining area-level Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in urban areas.
According to WFP estimates, 82 percent of about 127,163 refugees and asylum seekers are highly vulnerable and incapable of meeting basic food needs while nine percent each are moderately and least vulnerable. However, due to funding shortages, food assistance since August 2021 has been reduced and prioritized by vulnerability level; the highly vulnerable receive a 92 percent ration instead of a 100 percent while the moderately vulnerable receive a 46 percent ration instead of the recommended 50 percent. Given that the funding gap is yet to be filled, ration reductions will persist and this together with declining income earning opportunities due to COVID-19 impacts are expected to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity among refugees in Rwanda.