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Uganda Food Security Outlook Update: Increasing number of refugees and poor households in Karamoja in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through May, December 2021

Situation Report
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• Significantly below-average October to December rainfall in northern, parts of central, and eastern Uganda is expected to result in below-average second season production. While most poor households, concentrated in central and western areas where production will be relatively better, will experience None (IPC Phase 1) through May 2022, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected among poor households in northern and eastern areas. In Karamoja, exceptionally dry conditions are causing early declines in livestock productivity, while rising food prices and below-average harvests are expected to drive further declines in food availability. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will persist through at least May 2022 in large parts of Karamoja.

• Staple food prices have increased above the five-year average and 2021 levels across most of Uganda. Sorghum and maize prices are significantly above average in several key reference markets in Karamoja. A less than usual surplus from 2021 first and second season production, relative recovery in net exports, and anticipation for a full reopened economy in January drove high national staple prices. Scarce local food supply is already impacting Karamoja as it relies on imports from neighboring districts. The sale of firewood, charcoal, and goats all purchase less sorghum currently than the five-year average, driving lower food access for poor households.

• Food security outcomes in refugee settlements has been supported by assistance covering 40-70 percent of basic kilocalorie needs. However, as stocks from second season harvests deplete in early 2022, an increasing number of refugees will face food consumption gaps indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). This relatively higher level of acute food insecurity will persist until the next harvest in June. Although FEWS NET expects that the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the presence of assistance will remain under 20 percent, and assistance will continue to support Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes at the area-level, more severe and widespread outcomes would be likely in the absence of assistance.