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Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes to continue through March

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burundi
  • October 2015
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes to continue through March

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through March 2016
  • Key Messages
    • Season B harvests were below normal in conflict- affected areas as the main agricultural activities were disrupted. New violence continues to put pressure on livelihoods in Kirundo, Muyinga, Makamba, and rural areas outside Bujumbura. Poor households in these areas will continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity, despite some improvements with harvests in December and January.

    • A below-normal season B harvest, above-average food prices, limited labor opportunities, and further political unrest will make the September to December lean season more severe than normal in these areas.

    • Despite reducing number of feeding days by half, in September WFP provided humanitarian assistance respite to more than 100,000 Burundians affected by the ongoing crisis in Kirundo, Makamba, and Bujumbura Marie Provinces. This is in addition to the ongoing humanitarian assistance to the already identified food-insecure population. However, funding gaps starting in from November will continue to challenge humanitarian agencies as they may be forced to further reduce their rations and continue to decrease nutrition activities.





    • New violence continues in many areas, particularly in Bujumbura, which continues to drive displacement and put additional pressure on neighboring areas.
    • Continuing civil insecurity and political violence is expected to lead to further decline in food access as people in displacement find it difficult to have their normal livelihood strategies.

    Kirundo, Muyinga, Makamba, and Bujumbura Mairie provinces

    • Below average of Season B harvest reported due to disrupted agricultural activities. This is further accentuated by above average food prices resulting in reduced access to food and income. Many poor households have begun to employ coping strategies typically observed in the November peak lean season.
    • Poor households will likely increase coping in response to earlier-than-normal reliance on markets for food and reduced income opportunities. As a result, the September to December main lean season, where they heavily rely on market purchases, is expected to be more severe than normal in provinces most affected by political violence and instability.

    Projected Outlook through March 2016

    Season A short rains started normally in September and is anticipated to establish well in the next couple of weeks. This will facilitate the close to ending planting activities by replenishing soil moisture and crop conditions. Given the influence of El-Nino, forecasts for normal to above normal rainfall during the remainder of the season will likely result at least average Season A crop production, except in areas where the political tension is prevalent. The projected October to December 2015 above average rains intensity are expected to be relatively less than the previous El Nino years which will minimize the risk of flooding.

    Prices normally start to increase in September following the start of the major lean season. In September 2015, prices of key staple commodities stabilized in most markets and increased in few but remain above average. Food prices were particularly high in Riyugi, Kirundo and Muyinga provinces. In Muyinga, September cassava flour prices rose by 20 percent compared to August and were 10 percent above the five-year (2010 - 2014) average. Beans prices in the same market were 14 and 27 percent higher compared to August and average prices, respectively. In Kirundo, sweet potato prices increased by 26 percent compared to August and were 6 percent above the five-year average. Ruyigi market has also shown similar trends. These high prices are mainly due to the current political crisis. Seasonal prices increases during the remainder of the lean season are expected to be higher than usual. These high prices will reduce food access as the poor heavily relies on market purchases during this main lean season.

    According to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), more than 100,000 people in Burundi require continued humanitarian assistance to meet their essential food and non-food needs until the end of this year and beyond. Despite limited internal displacement, the political instability since April has displaced more than 200,000 Burundians to neighboring countries. With the ongoing political unrest, Burundians are still on the move with the rate of new arrivals into these neighboring countries reaching 1,000 individuals per day at the beginning of October (UNHCR). With this continued influx, the “most likely” scenario in the revised Burundi Regional Refugee Response Plan projects the arrival to exceed 300,000 refugees into the neighboring countries until the end of 2015.

    Most households in Burundi will continue to face Minimal (Phase 1) acute food insecurity through March 2016. However, households in Kirundo, Muyinga and Makamba will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity. The combination of ongoing political unrest, above-average food prices, limited labor opportunities, as well as less food stocks than usual and below-average crop sales from limited Season B harvests will inhibit improvements in food security in these areas. Food insecurity will continue to worsen in these areas through March if the ongoing political turmoil is unabated. On the other hand, food insecurity in other areas will improve with the favorable Season A harvest prospect during the December – January period. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2


    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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