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Flooding destroys crops, livelihoods, and infrastructure in the west

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • April 2024
Flooding destroys crops, livelihoods, and infrastructure in the west

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in the Northern Lowlands, Eastern Lowlands, and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones due to rising food prices, below-average cross-border income-earning opportunities, and below-average 2024 Season A crop harvests in areas with below-average bean production. However, adequate food stocks from the near-average 2024 Season A harvest and the 2024 Season B green harvest of beans are expected to stabilize food access across the country. This will sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes in the west of the country. 
    • Above-average March and April rainfall, also predicted by USGS analysis, improved 2024 Season B bean, rice, and tuber production to average levels in most of the country. However, excessive rainfall has triggered floods that destroyed crops cultivated along main rivers and marshlands, potentially leading to below-average harvests in June in localized areas. According to a joint government and United Nations press release, an estimated 40,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed across the country, impacting over 210,000 people, with around 80 percent of the damage concentrated in the Imbo Plains livelihood zone.
    • Food prices remained stable throughout March and April 2024, supported by adequate food stocks from Season A harvests at the national level. However, bean prices increased slightly by 10 percent compared to February. Compared to last year, cassava, maize, and bean prices are 5, 20, and 25 percent lower, respectively, driven by near-average harvests that have helped stabilize food prices. However, rice prices are 30 percent higher, and food prices in general remain 20 to 30 percent above their five-year averages, driven by elevated national inflation, increased expenses for agricultural inputs, and elevated fuel and transportation costs.
    • As anticipated in the February Food Security Outcome Analysis, floods and landslides due to El Niño destroyed infrastructure and caused localized damage to 2024 Season B crops. Between February and March, around 210,000 people were affected, while 19,250 houses, 210 classrooms, and several bridges and roads were destroyed, in addition to crop damages. The floods and landslides led to a 30 percent increase in displacement, with the number of internally displaced reaching 100,000 people. The majority are concentrated in the Imbo Plains livelihood zone, which is further affected by the rising water levels of Lake Tanganyika.
    • Monthly inflation has stabilized at around 20 percent since January, mainly due to stable food prices driven by near-average 2024 Season A food stocks. However, critical macroeconomic indicators, including the trade deficit, external debt, foreign currency reserves, and loans, remain at critical levels, resulting in the instability of the Burundi Franc (BIF) and worsening official exchange rates up to 80 percent lower than the parallel market. This precarious macroeconomic situation leads to diminished import capacity, prompting traders to increasingly rely on the parallel market to import goods, causing price increases for imported items, including food and essential non-food items.
    • As per WFP report, approximately 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers received only about 70 percent of their usual monthly food ration in March due to funding shortages. As a result of the reduced humanitarian assistance, these households are expected to face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. Additionally, humanitarian food assistance covering a three-month ration has been provided to 1,800 returnees, and nutritious food has been given to 7,300 moderately malnourished children in Cankuzo, Ruyigi, Muyinga, Ngozi, Kirundo, and Rutana provinces. However, humanitarian food aid needs are expected to increase due to the anticipated rise in returnees, with about 7,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania expected to return each month between April and June. Furthermore, humanitarian food and non-food aid needs are expected to increase due to the impacts of floods, landslides, and the rising water levels of Lake Tanganyika, which are estimated to affect 300,000 people. 

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Burundi Key Message Update April 2024: Flooding destroys crops, livelihoods, and infrastructure in the west, 2024.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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