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Season B harvests and decline in staple food prices improve food availability and access

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • July 2019
Season B harvests and decline in staple food prices improve food availability and access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • With Season 2019B harvests nearly completed, key informants confirm that although localized areas in Kirundo Province have experienced bean production shortfalls, crop production is generally average to above average across the country. This has replenished household and market food stocks. In Ngozi and Kayanza provinces, market restrictions for small ruminants sales have been lifted following successful control of small ruminants plague. These two factors are expected to sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes through September.

    • Malaria prevalence remains above the national epidemic threshold, but the number of new cases per week has begun to attenuate, according to data from WHO and OCHA.  As household and market food reserves are expected to seasonally decline through late 2019 and malaria prevalence is anticipated to seasonally increase during the October-December short rains season, some areas are likely to deteriorate to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the October-January period. Areas of concern include the Humid Plateaus, Eastern Arid Plateaus, and Northern Lowlands.

    • In June, the National Institute of Statistics reported that staple food prices were 11.8 percent lower than June 2018 and 2.6 percent lower than in May 2019. This has favorably impacted food access for market-dependent households, who are facing seasonal declines in farm labor income. However, the price of beans – the main source of protein – rose in June compared to May, since production has not kept pace with demand since early this year. In July, the price of beans is 900 FBu/kg (USD 0.49) in Kirundo and has reached 1000 FBu/kg (USD 0.54) in some neighboring markets.

    • In June, WFP provided a three-month ration to 3,900 newly returned Burundian refugees and food assistance to 44,000 Congolese refugees living in settlements. The population of IDPs, estimated at 115,708 in May, has remained relatively stable in the last two months, with new displacement counter-balanced by returns to their places of origin following the end of rainy season in June. It is expected that humanitarian food assistance, coupled with limited access to harvests and livelihoods opportunities, is sustaining Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes for these populations of concern.  

    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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