Uganda

Uganda: Market Monitor - Refugee Hosting Areas | Refugee Settlement Price and Market Functionality Snapshot, 1-30 November 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 1,573,291 refugees as of 31 December 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 November 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 regional levels, unless stated otherwise. In total, 172 traders were interviewed nationwide in this round. Of these, 131 were from the Southwest Region (SWR) and 41 were from the West Nile Region (WNR).

KEY FINDINGS

Average cost of the full MEB in November 2021: 427,475 UGX
-3% compared to the full MEB March 2021.

Average cost of the food MEB in November 2021: 259,109 UGX
-7% 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 beans has decreased by 36% since May, from 3,363 UGX to 2,161 UGX. In the SWR, the price of millet flour has stabilised since gradually increasing by 13% from July to October.

  • Nationally, only 26% of the interviewed vendors reported accepting mobile money payments. The percentage was significantly higher in the SWR (69%) compared to the WNR (10%).

  • At a national level, 14% of the interviewed vendors reported difficulties in meeting demand. The proportion was much higher in the WNR (49%) compared to the SWR (3%).

  • Likewise, concerns that stocks would run out were more often reported among vendors in the WNR (29%) versus those in the SWR (2%).

  • The market price of the WFP GFA food basket increased by 7% in group 1 settlements, remained stable in group 2 settlements, and increased by 5% in group 3 settlements. The WFP transfer value could cover 113%, 110% and 122% of the 70%,60% and 40% rations in group 1, group 2, and group 3 respectively.

  • The cost of the food MEB was UGX 268,829, UGX 290,625, and UGX 230,479 in groups 1, 2, and 3 settlements respectively. The geo-prioritized WFP transfer value could cover only 41%, 33%, and 28% of the food MEB costs in group 1 settlements, group 2 settlements group 3 settlements respectively.

KEY CHALLENGES

Top 3 challenges reported by traders:

1 Price fluctuation of commodities 66%

2 Increased price of transportation 41%

3 Lack of customers 40%