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Below average 2022 A Season bean and maize harvest likely in the northern lowlands

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • January 2022
Below average 2022 A Season bean and maize harvest likely in the northern lowlands

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In January 2022, the early harvest of the 2022 A Season is improving household food access in general across Burundi. However, in the Northern and Eastern Lowlands livelihood zones, poor and very poor households are likely facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food security outcomes due to below-average income from cross-border COVID-19 movement restrictions and a below-average 2022 A harvest due to dry conditions at critical growth stages earlier in the season. 

    • In November and December 2021, dry conditions at critical growth stages resulted in the wilting and drying of the beans and maize crops in the Eastern and Northern Lowlands and Imbo Plains livelihood zones. The bean crop, which was at the flowering stage, was the most affected crop of the 2022 A Season. A preliminary assessment by OCHA, WFP, and the government reported that around 36,500 households in the Northern Lowlands livelihood zone lost more than 75 percent and around 50 percent of their beans and maize crops, respectively. Household food stocks are likely to last for two rather than the typical five months. As more comprehensive assessments are carried out and more information becomes available, the analysis of current and projected food security outcomes will be updated in FEWS NET’s February Food Security Outlook.

    • In December 2021, rice, maize, and sorghum prices followed seasonal trends but were 15-25 percent above prices last year and 13-20 percent above the five-year average due to limited market supply. The limited market supply is being driven by below-average imports by informal cross-border traders due to current COVID-19 control measures on border crossings and the sanitary maize import ban. Most food commodities are transported by boat and bicycle, generally from Tanzania. Since March 2021, the government ban on the importation of maize due to aflatoxin concerns remains in place. 

    • According to WFP, around 51,400 refugees are being accommodated in five camps and are receiving full rations of in-kind food assistance and cash-based transfers (CBT). In December 2021, around 522 MT of food assistance and approximately 183,000 USD in CBT was distributed, driving None! (IPC Phase 1!)  food security outcomes among refugee households. In December, WFP also provided CBT to around 55,600 people impacted by flooding in the Imbo Plains, likely supporting None! (IPC Phase 1!) outcomes until February. Around 1,380 returnees were provided three months of food assistance supporting None! (IPC Phase 1!)  outcomes. However, around 35,000 returnees who arrived between May and November 2021are likely facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes after exhausting the food assistance they received upon arrival. These returnees are currently reliant on support from the host communities, income from wage labor, and are engaging in coping strategies to minimize food gaps such as the consumption of wild vegetables. 

    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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