Uganda Food Security Outlook Update, April 2019
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes emerge in bimodal regions
• Food security has deteriorated in bimodal eastern Uganda, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in much of Eastern region and parts of Northern and Central regions. Poor households exhausted their food stocks in March, and below-average first season (March-June) rainfall has led to an absence of seasonal vegetables and a significant decline in agricultural labor demand, reducing household income and food access more significantly than previously anticipated. Food prices are expected to rise, and could remain high even after the harvest. In Teso sub-region, this will be the third consecutive below-average production season. As a result, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely through September.
• In Karamoja, an increasing number of households face food consumption gaps or are utilizing negative livelihoods coping strategies, increasing the prevalence of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Food prices are steadily rising in comparison to March 2018, with higher price increases occurring in more remote, rural markets. At the same time, the casual labor wage and the price of firewood, charcoal, and goats are declining, resulting in significantly below-average terms of trade and reduced household purchasing power. In addition, most households have delayed land preparation and planting, due to delayed and below-average seasonal (April-September) rainfall coupled with poor access to seeds.
• First season cereal and legume harvests will be delayed until the end of July and aggregate production is expected to be at least 50 percent below average. Delayed and below-average cumulative rainfall has either delayed planting by at least six weeks or resulted in moisture stress, reducing production prospects. May rainfall is forecast to be above average, but will occur too late in the season to support late-maturing crops. Heightened FAW incidence is also likely to contribute to deficits. Below-average production is expected to reduce household food and income sources, cause a rise in staple food prices, and reduce exports.
• The number of South Sudanese and Congolese refugees in Uganda reached 808,554 and 332,506, respectively, as of March 31, inclusive of 19,455 and 19,807 new arrivals, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019. An average arrival rate of at least 200 people per day has been sustained since January and is likely to continue, driven by conflict. Refugees with an arable plot have similarly delayed planting due to below-average rainfall and are expected to harvest less than usual. The proportion of refugees relying entirely on humanitarian food assistance is expected to increase with own food production shortfalls. Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes will likely be sustained.