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Initial Season B harvest improves food availability and access

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • May 2017
Initial Season B harvest improves food availability and access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Season B (February-May) rainfall was near-normal and well-distributed. If rainfall continues until mid-June, total national crop production is likely to be above normal. The first harvests of beans, the season dominant crop, have started, contributing to greater food availability along with the current supply of root crops and bananas. The majority of households are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity, although many poor, market-dependent households are still likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), especially in Kirundo, Muyinga, and Cibitoke provinces due to localized rainfall shortages and limited incomes.  

    • Staple food prices remain above five-year averages due to reduced food imports, depreciation of the national currency, and shortages of foreign reserves that are leading to frequent fuel shortages and higher transportation costs, further constraining poor household food access. However, with the initial harvest, prices have fallen faster than expected. According to anecdotal information, the price of beans dropped in Kirundo to 750 BIF/kg in mid-May, marking nearly a 40 percent drop from mid-April 2017, closely aligning with last year’s prices. Prices are likely to ease even further through September. 

    • As of March 31, according to IOM, there were approximately 150,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Burundi, with five percent living in camps. UNHCR reported that at the end of March, the number of returnees remained stable at less than 8,000, even after the Government of Tanzania decided in January to start vetting Burundian asylum seekers. In April, WFP assisted over 37,000 refugees, primarily Congolese, living in camps (out of a total of nearly 63,000), but it was forced to cut non-refugee operations by 50 percent to stretch resources. 

    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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