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Below-average Season A rainfall from mid-December through mid-January, has dampened maize production prospects. Anecdotal information suggests that maize yields could decline by up to 20 percent, with the most significant losses likely in the Eastern Semi-Arid Agropastoral zone. While the majority of the country is expected to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through the end of the harvest, food insecurity could accentuate earlier than usual in March, particularly in Kirehe, Gatsibo, and Kayonza districts, leading to some poor households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the lean season.
However, food prices declined seasonally from the last week of December as Season A harvests progressed, improving household food access. Beans retailed at Rwanda Franc (RWF) 500 in December as compared to RWF 800 in October, in Kigali. Similarly, Irish potatoes were RWF 220 in December, as compared to RWF 350 in October. Maize prices are expected to decline in February as harvests are completed, temporarily replenishing household food stocks.
The influx of Burundi refugees has continued into January 2017, amidst severe funding shortfalls. An estimated 84,000 refugees from Burundi, who arrived since April 2015, were hosted in camps in southern Rwanda and in the capital, Kigali, as of January 16. Acute food insecurity for refugees is projected to remain at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) if humanitarian assistance funding shortfalls and inabilities to access livelihood income-earning opportunities persist.
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.