Download the Report
The ongoing Season A harvest has generally replenished household food stocks and improved market supplies, supporting a relative decline in food prices and improvement from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes among most of the rural population. The Season A maize and beans harvest is estimated to be lower than last year’s Season A harvest, making it the second consecutive season of declining maize and beans production after a nearly 10 percent decline was recorded last year. The decline is due to erratic rainfall distribution, high agricultural input prices (despite government subsidies), and resultant reductions in planted area. Localized areas in Eastern Province have the largest shortfalls, but the affected population is low. Despite this, the production of other staple foods – such as banana, sweet potato, cassava, and other vegetables – is sufficient to meet household’s minimum kilocalorie needs.
The average national price of beans reduced from 1,250 RWF/kg in November to 1,000 RWF/kg in January. Moreover, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) reported that the pace of monthly food inflation in rural areas slowed by 4.1 percent in December compared to November, though annual food inflation remained high at 66 percent. However, the temporary decline in food prices, especially beans, is not expected to be sustained due to the impact of tight local and regional stocks – including setting aside some bean stocks for seeds for Season B – and high global food and fuel prices. For most households, food stocks from Season A will mitigate the impact of high food prices through May; however, some of the poorest households – particularly in Eastern Province – may have difficulty purchasing sufficient food during the minor lean season in April/May.
In Kigali City, household access to food remains constrained by high food prices, despite a relative decline in December. In December, the NISR reported that urban food inflation rose by 44 percent over the past year, but the pace of food price increased slowed marginally by 1.3 percent over the past month. Atypically high food prices, combined with a slowdown in economic growth, limited employment opportunities, and the high cost of fuel and transportation, will likely continue constraining household purchasing power and limiting food access and result in an increasing number of people that are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in 2023.
Over 127,000 refugees and asylees in Rwanda face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes, driven by high food prices and reduced purchasing power. WFP is providing cash transfers that cover 54 percent of the food basket for highly vulnerable refugees (87 percent of the population) and 23 percent of the food basket for moderately vulnerable refugees (6 percent of the population). While refugees and asylees can earn income from local employment opportunities in the camps and neighboring towns, they would most likely face food consumption gaps in the absence of assistance. Pressure on humanitarian funding gaps is further exacerbated by the influx of at least 3,000 Congolese refugees since November due to increased conflict in eastern DRC. According to WFP’s last price monitoring update in November, the cost of the minimum food basket increased by 1.6 and 92 percent compared to the previous month and November 2021, respectively.
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.