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Below average rainfall and limited access to fertilizer impact the start of the 2023 A Season

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • September 2022
Below average rainfall and limited access to fertilizer impact the start of the 2023 A Season

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food security outcomes are present across most of Burundi, as households have access to food stocks from the near-average 2022 B Season harvest, typical access to income, and increased labor wages with the start of the 2023 A Season. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in the Eastern and Northern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones, driven by below-average income from bean sales, high staple food prices, lower than normal labor opportunities, and below-average income from cross-border trade with Tanzania and Rwanda.

    • The start of the September to January small rains is delayed, which is delaying the start of land preparation and sowing for the 2023 A Season. Additionally, key informants report that better-off households can only access around half of the normal amount of fertilizer in mid-September due to shortages. The forecast below-average September-December short rains are likely to impact the low-altitude areas of the Eastern and Northern Lowlands, Eastern Dry Plateaus, and Imbo Plains livelihood zones, as these areas are typically the most vulnerable to dry spells resulting in localized below-average maize and bean harvests.

    • In August, staple food prices increased 25 to 60 percent compared to last year and the five average, with maize prices recording the largest increases due to increased demand and below-normal market supply. The high food prices are generally driven by the rising fuel cost, resulting in increased transportation costs. In September, fuel in Bujumbura is, on average, being sold at 3,250 BIF/liter (~6.02 USD/gallon) compared to 2,400 BIF/liter (~4.43 USD/gallon) in February, a 35 percent increase. Most drivers purchase fuel from unofficial fuel markets, where prices are around three times higher than at gas stations. The high fuel prices will likely slow economic activity.

    • In September 2022, WFP provided a hybrid ration (in kind and cash) equivalent to 2100 kilocalories per person per day to just over 55,500 refugees and asylum seekers from the DRC and 4,000 returnees. The daily ration comprises of 360g of cereals, 120g of beans, 25g of vegetable oil, and 5g of salt per person. Currently, humanitarian assistance is supporting Minimal! (IPC Phase 1!) acute food insecurity outcomes among beneficiaries. However, around 13,000 returnees from February to July 2022 have likely exhausted their three-month food assistance rations and are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), having not yet established typical sources of income and crop production. 

    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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