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Stressed (IPC Phase 2) expected due to flooding in Imbo plains

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • May 2024
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) expected due to flooding in Imbo plains

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are anticipated in the Northern Lowlands, Eastern Lowlands, and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones due to increasing food prices, below-average cross-border income-earning opportunities, and below-average 2024 Season A crop harvests. However, food stocks from the near-average 2024 Season A harvest and 2024 Season B green harvest of beans are expected to stabilize national-level food supplies, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes in the western part of the country.  
    • Average to above-average rainfall from March to May has improved 2024 Season B bean, rice, and tuber production in most parts of the country. However, excessive rainfall led to flooding along main rivers and marshlands and to the overflowing of Lake Tanganyika, destroying crops, public infrastructure, and residential houses. According to UNOCHA, over 278,000 people have been affected since October 2023, and around 47,000 people have been displaced. Approximately 75 percent of losses occurred in the Imbo Plains livelihood zone.
    • From April to May 2024, national-level food prices remained above their five-year averages but were stable compared to the previous year, supported by adequate food stocks from the 2024 Season A harvest and 2024 Season B green harvest. Except for Irish potatoes, which increased by 35 percent, the prices of other stable commodities were about 5 percent below last year’s prices but 50 to 75 percent above the five year-averages. The area planted with potatoes and sweet potatoes has decreased due to limited availability of 2024 Season A and B planting materials. Moreover, high national inflation, increased expenses for agricultural inputs, and high fuel and transportation costs have contributed to above-average food prices.
    • Recent food price decreases, associated with the harvest, have lowered the food inflation rate to 10 percent in April, which is 10 percent lower than at the end of 2023. However, other macroeconomic indicators remain critical, likely resulting in limited capacity to cover national food and non-food import needs. In February of 2024, the country recorded a trade deficit of 248,000 BIF Million (86 USD Million), among the highest in the past 20 years. The continued decline in the export of cash crops and minerals is among the drivers contributing to the trade deficit. Coffee production decreased from 18.5 thousand tonnes in 2020 to 7.5 thousand tonnes in 2024, while cotton production was halved during the same period. Additionally, gold and coltan production decreased by half between 2000 and 2023, further reducing national income.
    • According to WFP, around 59,000 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 1,500 returnees, 3,200 pregnant and lactating women and nutritious food has been given to 7,030 moderately malnourished children in Cankuzo, Ruyigi, Muyinga, Ngozi, Kirundo, and Rutana provinces. However, humanitarian needs are expected to increase due to the anticipated rise in returnees. 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 May 2024: Stressed (IPC Phase 2) expected due to flooding in Imbo plains, 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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