Uganda + 2 more

Uganda Food Security Outlook, June 2020 to January 2021

Situation Report
Originally published
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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes anticipated in Karamoja and refugee settlements

Key Messages

  • In June, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely in urban areas and in rural areas recently affected by floods or landslides, while Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely in Karamoja sub region. The start of the bimodal harvest is driving nationwide improvement in food availability and beginning to lead to a decline in staple food prices. However, movement restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continue to constrain household income sources and food access.

  • As of June 30, the Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 893 COVID-19 cases among Ugandan nationals with a near-90 percent recovery rate and zero case fatality rate. Additionally, UNHCR has reported 52 confirmed cases among refugees. The GoU eased most lockdown measures in early June, but 12 districts – including Adjumani, Arua, and Moyo, which host large refugee settlements – remain under lockdown due to higher clusters of COVID-19 cases.

  • The food security impacts of the March to June lockdown include declines in business activity, labor demand, and domestic and export demand for agricultural products, leading to below-normal household income from casual and agricultural labor, petty trade, and other informal income sources. Despite the gradual easing of movement restrictions, the economic slowdown is forecast to persist into next year. In urban areas, poor households will continue to have difficulty earning enough income to purchase both their food and non-food needs, even though cereal prices are declining with the first season harvest. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to persist in most urban areas through January. In Kampala, where rural-urban linkages are weakest, some poor households may be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

  • In rural areas, food availability and access are seasonally improving for poor households in bimodal areas, where the average to slightly below-average first season harvests began in June. Although Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are widespread, areas affected by floods or landslides during the first rainfall season are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to crop losses and below-normal income from labor or crop sales. In Karamoja, food security has deteriorated to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to the delayed, below-average main season harvest combined with below-normal household income and reduced interannual safety nets resulting from COVID-19 movement restrictions. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected until September, when the availability of the short-cycle cereal harvest will most likely drive improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

  • According to UNHCR and WFP, the refugee response in Uganda is facing a challenge of underfunding. WFP reduced monthly food assistance from a full ration to a 70 percent ration in April. Available information indicates that WFP will continue to deliver a 70 percent ration through September and will reduce the monthly ration to 60 percent from October to January. Since refugees’ dependence on food assistance is very high and COVID-19 movement restrictions are limiting their access to income sources, most refugee households are expected to have food consumption gaps indicative of Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) from July to October. From November to January, increasing freedom of movement to access income sources and the second season harvests will most likely result in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Uganda currently hosts 1,425,040 refugees and is welcoming an additional 3,000 refugees from the DRC.