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Season B (March to May) rainfall had a near-normal onset, which has improved agricultural labor opportunities, providing needed income for poor households to make market food purchases, following the below-average Season A harvest and the lean season that extends through May. Infrastructure employment for roads and houses also provided additional sources of income in many regions. Poor households in Kayonza, Kirehe, Ngoma, and Bugesera districts of Eastern Province are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to earlier than normal depletion of food stocks until the June harvest, which is likely to be near-average. Beans, which are the main crop for the season, are growing normally.
Due to tight domestic and regional supplies, maize and bean prices remained elevated even following the January harvest. A FEWS NET assessment in mid-March determined that maize prices in Nasho market in Kirehe District had increased from 250 to 280 RWF/kg, and bean prices went up from 280 RWF/kg to 400 RWF/kg in just two months. The high staple food prices continue to constrain poor household food access.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of March 23, there were 84,938 post April 2015 Burundian refugees in Rwanda, which represented an increase in arrivals of about 360 from a month ago. Approximately two thirds of Burundians live in Mahama camp in Kirehe District and receive WFP food assistance and face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes, while the rest live in urban areas. WFP indicated in February that it faces a 66 percent funding gap, and if additional funding is not secured, refugee assistance could be affected as early as May, which would likely lead to a deterioration in refugees' food security outcomes to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in June.
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.