The Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) in Uganda was established to inform cash-based assistance for refugees, encompassing all essential needs, as outlined in the MEB Reference Guide. To monitor when and how changing market conditions affect households’ ability to meet essential needs, a price monitoring system was established.
This report provides an analysis of food and non-food item price data collected from all the 13 refugee settlements: Kyaka II, Kiryandongo, Rhino Camp, Adjumani, Bidibidi, Imvepi, Koboko/Lobule, Palabek, Palorinya, Oruchinga, Rwamwanja, Kyangwali and Nakivale, from July to September 2019.
• The cost of MEB increased substantially in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the reference MEB value of March 2019. The July, August and September 2019 cost of the MEB was 22 percent, 27 percent and 23 percent respectively higher than the reference MEB value.
• The cost of the food MEB increased by 37 percent, 45 percent and 39 percent in July, August and September 2019 respectively compared to the reference value of March 2019.
• The cost of the non-food MEB during the third quarter of 2019 remained largely the same compared to the reference value of March 2019.
• The increasing cost of the MEB may have a negative impact on households’ capacity to cover essential needs.
The MEB for refugees in Uganda
The reference MEB value for refugees in Uganda was based on 11 components: food, water, energy and environment, education, communication, transport, hygiene, clothing, health, household items and livelihood. The reference MEB value and percentage contribution of each of the 11 components are shown in Table 1.
The MEB was developed using a combination of a rights based and an expenditure approach. As a result, the cost of some components of the MEB such as food, hygiene, energy (firewood), livelihood and household items are itemized based on a determination of essential needs. The cost of other components, including water, education, transport, communication, clothing, and health, were based on refugee expenditures patterns and expert agreement. Price monitoring of the itemized components helps to inform how changing market conditions affect the cost of the total MEB.