Uganda

Uganda: Market Monitor - Refugee Hosting Areas | Refugee Settlement Price and Market Functionality Snapshot, 1-30 September 2021

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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 1,524,352¹ refugees as of 30 September 2021, with 94% 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 September 2021. Part of the data was collected remotely, using the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) phone-based survey system. Data for sold loose items was collected in person with items purchased and weighted where possible.

Finally, KIs were purposively sampled, meaning the findings are indicative only. The figures represented in this factsheet are presented at the national and regional2 levels, unless stated otherwise. In total, 202 traders were interviewed nationwide in this round. Of these, 123 were from the Southwest Region (SWR) and 79 were from the West Nile Region (WNR).

KEY FINDINGS

Average cost of the full MEB in September 2021: 412,723 UGX

-7% compared to the full MEB March 2021.3

Average cost of the food MEB in September 2021: 256,147 UGX

-8% compared to the food MEB March 2021.

• Across regions, prices for key food items in the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) have remained mostly stable. Since February 2021, the price of 1kg of maize grain in the SWR has increased by 100% from 533 to 1067 UGX. Similary, the price of beans in the SWR has slightly increased by 17% from 1413 to 1646 UGX over the past 3 months. In the WNR the price of 1 litre of milk has decreased by 16% from 1821 to 1525 UGX since the last round of data collection.

• Nationally, 45% of the interviewed vendors reported accepting mobile money payments. The percentage was much higher (51%) in the SWR compared to 32% in the WNR.

• At a national level, 16% of the interviewed vendors reported difficulties in meeting demand. However, in the SWR only 9% of the vendors reported difficulties, while in the WNR the proportion was much higher (27%).

• The market price of the WFP GFA food basket increased by 4% from August to September 2021. Overall, the WFP cash transfer value met the cost of the GFA food basket in all the refugee settlements except in Palabek.

• The average cost of the food MEB remained stable between August and September after a decrease of 4% from July to August 2021. The cost of the food MEB in September 2021 was 8% lower than the reference value of March 2021.

• By August 2021, the WFP cash transfer value could cover only 37% of the food MEB (39% in SWR and 36% in WNR)