OVERVIEW AND METHODOLOGY
Uganda is one of the top refugee-hosting countries in the world, with a protracted refugee situation and ongoing influxes of refugees from neighboring countries. The country hosts 1,494,505 refugees as of 30 June 2021, with nearly 95% of refugees living in settlements primarily in the West Nile and Southwest regions of Uganda.
In view of this situation, the World Food Programme (WFP) has established a regular market price monitoring system across refugee settlements to inform cash-based response approaches. These monitoring efforts predate the COVID-19 crisis. However, due to the changing situation and ongoing COVID-19 containment measures, there is a risk that markets could be significantly affected and beneficiaries receiving cash assistance may not be able to access critical goods. In response, with the technical support of the Market Analysis Task Force and REACH in particular, this market price monitoring system has been expanded to capture crucial information to understand the impact of COVID-19 on commodity prices and functionality of markets in refugee communities across Uganda.
WFP collected the data through key informant (KI) interviews with traders, individuals selling key commodities, in markets across 13 refugee settlement locations from 1-30 June 2021. Data was collected remotely, using the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) phone-based survey system. Data for sold loose items could not be collected in person for this round, meaning items were not purchased and weighted as per the usual methodology.
Data for weighted items (cassava, dodo, fish, firewood, charcoal) could not be updated from previous rounds.
Finally, KIs were purposively sampled, meaning the findings are indicative only. The figures represented in this factsheet are presented at the national and regional levels, unless stated otherwise. In total,125 traders were interviewed nationwide in this round. Of these, 66 were from the Southwest Region (SWR) and 59 were from the West Nile Region (WNR).
Average cost of the full MEB in June 2021: 430,614 UGX
-2% compared to the full MEB March 2021
Average cost of the food MEB in June 2021: 271,114 UGX
-2% compared to the food MEB March 2021.
Across regions, prices for key food items in the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) have remained mostly stable.
In the WNR, the price of millet increased significantly by 17% compared to last round, while the price of beans dropped by 16%.
The proportion of vendors reporting to accept mobile money increased from 49% to 74% nationwide.
However, this is likely at least partially influenced by the remote data collection methods used for this round.
Nationally, 22% of the interviewed vendors reported difficulties in meeting demand. However, this concern is much more prevalent among vendors in the WNR (41%) than among those in the SWR (5%).
In the SWR, 18% of interviewed vendors reported feeling less secure working in the market place, mainly due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
In the SWR, the average number of customers per day reported by vendors dropped significantly, from 33 in May to 19 in June. A similar decrease was not reported by vendors in the WNR.
The WFP cash transfer value could cover only 35% of the food MEB (39% in SWR and 33% in WNR).
The average cost of the food MEB decreased marginally by 1% from May to June 2021 (an increase of 7% in SWR and a 5% decrease in WNR). Overall, the cost of the food MEB in June 2021 was 2% lower than the reference value of March 2021.