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Limited access to food as the lean season continues

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burundi
  • October 2013
Limited access to food as the lean season continues

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through March 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Household food stocks are seasonally low, as the lean season began in September, and food prices are increasing in line with seasonal trends. Though most households have Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity, poor households in the Plateaux Humides and Congo Nile Crest zones will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity until the December harvests. These households have reduced food quantity and quality due to below-average production last season, reduced purchasing power, and decreased opportunities for labor migration to Tanzania.

    • The food security situation is expected to improve countrywide in December-January, with Season 2014 A harvests.  All zones will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through March 2014.

    • Approximately 20,000 Burundians were expelled from Tanzania as illegal immigrants in September, adding to the existing refugee, returnee, and IDP population of approximately 170,000 people within Burundi. This new returnee population requires continued humanitarian assistance to meet essential food and non-food needs.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • Although September was characterized by above-average rainfall, rainfall during the first 20 days of October was 10-25 percent below normal. 

     

    • Staple commodity prices either remained unchanged or increased in a few areas in August compared to July and are 23 percent  above average in Ngozi market.

     

    • According to Institut Géographique du Burundi IGEBU, seasonal rainfall is expected to be near average to above-average.

     

     

    • Prices are expected to continue increasing at a faster rate than normal until the next harvests in December/January.

    Projected Outlook Through March 2014
    Planting activities are nearly complete countrywide and weeding is now starting. Rainfall in September was 25-50 percent above average and damaged farms in Ngozi and Kayanza; however the first two dekads of October were marked by slightly below average rainfall (Figure 2).  According to IGEBU (Institut Géographique du Burundi), seasonal rainfall is expected to range from near-normal to above-normal through the rest of the season.
     
    Household-level food stocks are seasonally declining as the lean season progresses, but households in the Plateaux Humides and Congo Nile Crest livelihood zones face Stressed food insecurity levels due to below-average production due to plant diseases (banana Xanthomonas wilt, cassava mosaic, and cassava brown streak).  Households in these areas also have reduced income due to reduced prices for coffee, a cash crop in these areas.  There are also reports of increased admissions in nutrition centers.  Furthermore, households have less opportunity to migrate to Tanzania for work following the decision by the Government of Tanzania to expel Burundians and Rwandans as illegal immigrants.
                                                                                               
    Prices of key staple commodities stabilized in a few markets and increased in most markets in August, even though prices normally decline following Season B harvests. In Ngozi, August bean prices rose by 4 percent compared to July and were 23 percent above the five-year average. In Muyinga, bean prices increased by 25 percent compared to July and were 30 percent above the five-year average.                                                                                                                                             
     
    Around 20,000 Burundians were recently expelled from Tanzania as illegal immigrants, and need immediate humanitarian assistance from organizations as they rebuild their livelihoods. However, WFP – Burundi recently experienced a cut to its July to December 2013 funding, which led to a reduction in assistance programming.  
     
    Most households in the country face Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1), though poor households in the Plateaux Humides and Congo Nile Crest livelihood zones face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels. Food security will continue to deteriorate in these zones until December. The food security situation will likely improve countrywide in December-January, with Season 2014 A harvests.  All zones will then face None/Minimal (Phase 1) food insecurity through March 2014.
    Figures SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR

    Figure 1

    SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR

    Source: FEWS NET

    Rainfall anomaly, October 1-20

    Figure 2

    Rainfall anomaly, October 1-20

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 3

    Source:

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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