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Increased fuel prices in July likely to contribute to further food price rise

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • July 2023
Increased fuel prices in July likely to contribute to further food price rise

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes persist in most western parts of the country due to near-average Season B crop production and typical income sources. However, poor and very poor households in the Eastern and Northern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes driven by below-average bean production, high food prices, and below-average income. Additionally, below-average cross-border trade with Tanzania and Rwanda is reducing food and income sources.

    • Due to the Season B harvest, the price of beans decreased by 40 percent at the national level compared to May. However, prices of other staple foods, such as maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, and rice, remained stable. Despite the seasonal decrease for bean prices, overall staple food prices continue to be high, ranging between 40 and 65 percent above last year's prices and exceeding the five-year average. Labor wages have increased by about 25 percent compared to the previous year, with the current wage standing at approximately 3,600 BIF. However, this wage is only sufficient to cover nearly 60 percent of the food basket required for a typical family of six persons. This indicates that the income earned through labor is inadequate for an average family to afford sufficient food. As a result, poor households, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of the country, are likely to face wider food consumption gaps.

    • The persistent high food prices are primarily attributed to increased production costs, including higher expenses for labor, fertilizers, and improved seeds. Additionally, the depreciation of the BIF by 35 percent compared to last year made imported food more expensive, further adding to the overall increase in food prices. Furthermore, the rise in fuel prices by 36 percent between January and mid-July has contributed to increased transportation costs for food products. The recent decree of a 22 percent increase in fuel prices on July 21 is expected to further escalate food prices, especially during the lean period towards the end of 2023. As a result of these combined factors, there is a widening gap in food consumption for poor households, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

    • According to WFP, a funding shortfall has led to 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers receiving only half of their regular food ration. This shortage in food assistance is likely to contribute to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. To address this situation, the government has granted access to labor employment outside the refugee camps to provide refugees and asylum seekers with an opportunity to increase their income and improve their access to food. However, local employment prospects are limited due to low labor demand. Nearly 1,800 returnees have benefited from a full ration consisting of hot meals provided in transit centers and a three-month return package. Furthermore, over 9,000 people affected by climatic shocks in Imbo Plains and the Northern livelihood zones have received humanitarian assistance in the form of in-kind and cash transfers, which cover 100 percent of caloric needs.

    Recommended Citation: FEWS NET. Burundi Key Message update, July 2023. Increased fuel prices in July likely to contribute to further food price rise, 2023.

    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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