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Remotely Monitored Country
Remote Monitoring Report

Despite favorable harvests, limited incomes continue to hinder food access

February 2018

February - May 2018

June - September 2018

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Total 2018 Season A production is likely to be above-average, and with prospects for a favorable Season B harvest in June 2018, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist through September 2018, primarily due to staples prices that remain high. However, poor households, particularly in localized areas that experienced productions deficits in Bubanza Province, are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during the lean season in April.

  • As expected given the favorable 2018 Season A rainfall, the prices of staples dropped significantly in the main markets across the country, particularly in January.  For example, according to key informants, the price of the common variety of beans was between 700 and 800 BIF per kg in early January in Kirundo, compared to 1100 to 1200 BIF/kg in November 2017. Despite these declines, with limited household incomes, poor households’ food access remains constrained.

  • In January 2018, IOM and UNHCR estimated there were 176,000 IDPs, 13,000 returnees from Tanzania, and 44,000 refugees and asylum seekers from the DRC. Given the ongoing shortfalls in humanitarian assistance, the majority of returnees from Tanzania and all of the Congolese asylum seekers and refugees are experiencing difficulty meeting their minimum food needs. In the absence of assistance, they would face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

Kirundo, Karuzi Gitega, Muramvya, and Mwaro provinces

  • Sheep and goat plague, caused by a highly infectious and deadly virus, was recently introduced in these areas of Burundi through a distribution program of imported goats. This has prompted the Government of Burundi to close the markets for small ruminants, preventing poor, rural households’ ability to sell livestock for needed food purchases and agricultural inputs.
  • The resources, experience, and institutional capacity required to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas are likely to remain inadequate in the short-term. This is likely to continue to disrupt poor, rural households’ small animals’ husbandry livelihood and reduce their capacity to buy food, especially during the lean period in April.

Gihanga Commune in Bubanza Province, Imbo Plains

  • Due to the delayed start of Season A rainfall, severe dry spells, and Fall Armyworm (FAW) attacks on maize, harvests in Gihanga Commune were below average. This has led to atypically reduced household food availability and lower income levels, as poor household are unable to sell agricultural produce in order to meet their essential food and non-food needs.
  • With a favorable Season 2018 B rainfall forecast, crop production in May-June is likely to be average to above average across the country, including in the Imbo Plains. This is expected to improve household food and income sources.

 

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2018

The 2018 Season A harvests are nearly complete, with only maize in high altitude areas just starting to be harvested. Subject to confirmation from a forthcoming crop assessment by the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO, total overall crop production is likely to be above normal, particularly due to late season rainfall. As a result of the increased food availability, staple food prices, especially for non-cereals, have fallen since December. According to key informants, the price of the common variety of beans in Kirundo fell by more than 30 percent between early January and November 2017. However, due to the ongoing macroeconomic constraints in Burundi, prices remain high, constraining household purchasing power. In addition, regular fuel shortages, reduced food imports due to a lack of foreign exchange, and limited income-earning opportunities are likely to further hinder food access.

With Season B (February-May) rainfall forecast to only be below average in February, and above average thereafter, the next major harvest in May-June 2018 is likely to be above normal again. However, fertilizers are immediately needed as initial planting gets underway. If there is a further delay in availability and distributions, this may also delay planting efforts, and the total planted area could be below average.

Both IDPs and returnees from Tanzania continue to move back to their original homes in Burundi. UNHCR recently revised higher the number of returnees from Tanzania during the September-December 2017 period to 13,104, nine percent above the initial figure. However, many returnees are unable to utilize their land for planting since others, typically relatives, have been using their land in their absence. As a result, they are still largely dependent on external assistance.

Due to civil unrest in the DRC, particularly in South Kivu Province, approximately 8,000 asylum seekers arrived to Burundi in January and February. The number of Congolese refugees living in Burundi, now exceeds 44,000 people, and they are completely dependent on humanitarian assistance and would face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes without it.

Most poor households in Burundi are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through September 2018, as they are projected to meet their minimum food needs but not their essential non-food needs. However, some poor households, especially in areas of Bubanza Province that had below-average Season A harvests, may face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in April 2018, during the peak of the lean period, due to limited incomes to cover their food gaps. In addition, some former returnees from Tanzania, as they are unable to access land when they arrive in order to plant on time and harvest, and all of the Congolese refugees living in camps are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September 2018 in the absence of assistance.

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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