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Easing of COVID-19 lockdown improves food security for urban households

  • Key Message Update
  • Rwanda
  • May 2020
Easing of COVID-19 lockdown improves food security for urban households

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • On May 4, the government allowed public administration services and private businesses to reopen under strict health and safety measures. Schools remain closed and travel between provinces or into Kigali is not authorized except for essential workers. The majority of Kigali residents who work in the informal sector remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) but are expected to return to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) by July/August 2020 assuming that income earning opportunities return to near pre-COVID-19 levels. On June 1, the government will determine whether to further relax COVID-19 movement restrictions.

    • The above-average rainfall has been beneficial to most Season B crops but has negatively affected moisture-sensitive beans, particularly in the marshlands where approximately 10-15 percent of beans are grown. According to key informants, the Season B harvest in May-June is expected to be average, but bean production is anticipated to be 10 percent below average. The upcoming August-October Season C harvest, which accounts for approximately 15 percent of national production, is expected to be above average. According to RATIN in East Africa, April retail prices for maize and beans in Kigali were 19 and 3 percent below the three-year average. Compared to last year, maize prices were 19 percent lower, while bean prices were 14 percent higher in April. Food prices are expected to decline through August with the incoming Season B and C harvests, and the anticipated continued relaxation of COVID-19 movement restrictions.

    • In early May, heavy rains caused localized flooding and landslides across the districts of Gakenke, Musanze, Nyabihu, Muganga, Ruhango, Rubavu and Ngororero. Media reports estimate 72 fatalities, more than 91 houses destroyed, five bridges damaged, and severe damage to several roads particularly the ones connecting the capital Kigali to rural areas. The worst-affected households are currently Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) and receiving food and non-food assistance from the National Safety Net Program; they are expected to improve to None! (IPC Phase 1!)  by June 2020 with the incoming harvests.

    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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