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Average Season B green harvest supports Minimal food security outcomes

  • Key Message Update
  • Rwanda
  • July 2023
Average Season B green harvest supports Minimal food security outcomes

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The average Season B harvest has enhanced food availability across the country, sustaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. Furthermore, the removal of the value-added tax (VAT) in April has contributed to a decline in staple food prices, increasing access for most of the population. However, despite the seasonal food price decline, the general prices of both food and non-food items have remained atypically high. The high inflation rate is likely to put a strain on the purchasing power of the population, especially impacting poor rural households that heavily rely on the market. According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), the monthly food inflation rate in rural areas was nearly stable in June compared to May, while the annual food inflation rate remained high at 36 percent.

    • Based on weather forecasts for an average August to September rainfall, the Season C harvest is likely to be average, enhancing food availability. The increased food availability is likely to help mitigate the effects of the lean season. However, food prices are expected to significantly increase during the lean season, constraining food access for poor rural households, who will likely deplete own food stocks and rely on market purchases. As a result, the food consumption gap is likely to widen, increasing the number of households experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, although this number is likely to remain less than 20 percent of the population. The forecasted above-average October to December rainfall, especially in the western province, poses a risk of flash floods and landslides, which are likely to cause displacement and destruction of crops and infrastructure.

    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected in Kigali City during the projection period, due to improved food access as income-earning opportunities increase from growing economic activity, increased supply of food from rural areas after seasonal harvests, and enhanced cross-border trade. However, despite a seasonal decline, food prices in urban areas remain atypically high, limiting access to food for very poor urban households. The upcoming October to December lean season is likely to exacerbate the situation with price increases, potentially pushing more urban households into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, although less than 20 percent of the population. According to NISR, the urban food inflation rate stood at 26 percent in June compared to the previous year, indicating significant increases in urban areas.

    • The estimated 134,000 refugees and asylees in Rwanda are expected to face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes, with humanitarian assistance preventing worse outcomes as it covers about 50 percent of their monthly food needs. According to WFP monitoring, the food basket in June increased by about 4 percent due to higher prices of maize and cooking oil, diminishing household purchasing power and making it harder to afford essential food items. In addition, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to a continued influx of refugees into Rwanda. Since November 2022, nearly 9,000 new refugees have arrived, further straining the humanitarian resources. On a positive note, the Rwandan government, along with humanitarian partners, has successfully resettled around 20,000 internally displaced people who were affected by floods and provided assistance to meet their immediate needs.

    Recommended Citation: FEWS NET. Rwanda Key Message update, July 2023. Average Season B green harvest supports Minimal food security outcomes, 2023.

    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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