Uganda Food Security Outlook, February to September 2021

Situation Report
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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes are likely in Karamoja and rural refugee settlements


  • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected in rural and urban areas in bimodal Uganda through September, underpinned by an above-average rainfall forecast from March to May and continued economic recovery in 2021. Available data suggest agricultural production, labor demand, and regional export demand are likely to continue to improve, while low staple food prices are likely to continue to offset the effects of lagging income levels on food access. However, the number of households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes is still likely to be higher than average. Acutely food insecure households are most likely to be located in flood-affected areas near Lake Albert, areas that are vulnerable to floods or landslides during the rainfall season, areas where an FMD livestock quarantine is currently in place, and urban areas.

  • In Karamoja, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to be widespread through at least July, driven by belowaverage 2020 crop production, below-normal household income, and declining terms of trade, among other factors. In January, the amount of sorghum that could be purchased with the sale of a goat, a charcoal or firewood bundle, or a day’s wage declined relative to December, January 2020, and the five-year average in Karamoja’s key reference markets. Based on the likelihood of above-average rainfall from April to September, food availability and access are expected to slowly improve as the 2021 harvest becomes available from July to September.

  • Given limited access to income-generating activities, inadequate crop production, and low coping capacity, households in rural refugee settlements are expected to face Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!)1 outcomes during the agricultural lean season from February through May. Planned food assistance equivalent to a 60 percent ration is anticipated to prevent worse outcomes. However, a reduction in food assistance is likely after May due to an anticipated pipeline break, based on WFP’s report of a USD 114 million funding gap. Despite the availability of the first season harvest in June/July, households are likely to have slight to moderate food consumption gaps indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from June to September.