Remote Monitoring Report

The ongoing Season B harvest has replenished food stocks in rural areas

August 2022

August - September 2022

October 2022 - January 2023

IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • An average Season B bean and below-average Irish potato harvest have increased food availability and income for most people in rural areas. In addition, the increased labor demand for Season C and Season A land preparation is likely to sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in rural areas. However, the number of people in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions is expected to remain atypically high during the primary lean season, from October to December.

  • The forecasted below-average Season A rainfall from September to December and the increased cost of agricultural inputs are likely to reduce crop yields for Season C 2022 and Season A 2023. Increased food sales and price increases for supplemental and non-food items likely lead to early depletion of stocks and limited access to food. 

  • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are likely to be sustained in Kigali City, driven by increased economic activities and income earning opportunities in 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021. However, high food prices will continue to constrain household purchasing power, especially among the urban poor facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions. 

  • The estimated 127,194 refugees and asylees in Rwanda as of July 31, 2022, are likely to remain Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!), with monthly food assistance likely preventing worse food insecurity outcomes. Informal petty trade and labor are common sources of income for the refugees benefiting from the growing economic activities in early 2022. The rising prices of food are outpacing the purchasing power of the household’s income and cash-based humanitarian assistance. Refugees are expected to be disproportionally affected by the economic challenges of high food and fuel prices, which will likely constrain demand for informal goods and services.

CURRENT AND PROJECTED ANOMALIES

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

National

  • The persistently high cost of staple foods, farm inputs, gasoline, and imported food and non-food items driven by domestic, regional, and global factors continues to reduce household purchasing power.
  • The border tension between Rwanda and the DRC has declined, but tensions remain high; it has negatively affected cross-border trade and interrupted agriculture activities, mainly on the DRC side. Cross-border trade with Uganda is gradually improving to benefit traders and the community.
  • Russia-Ukraine war, tight domestic and regional crop supplies, and constrained trade with the DRC, food and non-food prices are expected to remain elevated throughout 2022, peaking during the primary lean season from October to December.
  • The high cost of farm inputs will likely result in reduced use of chemical fertilizers and quality seeds, resulting in generally low Season C and Season A harvests.
  • The tension between Rwanda and the DRC will likely persist, restricting cross-border trade and movements.

Rural areas

  • The average Season B harvest has increased food availability and access, but food prices remain unusually high in the harvest/post-harvest period. Prices of maize, beans, and Irish potatoes are atypically high for this period. Labor for Season A land preparation increased in rural areas, and labor costs rose to 1200 RWF/day, a 20 percent increment.
  • The rural Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food and non-alcoholic beverages in July rose by 34.5 percent compared to July last year and 6.4 percent compared to June 2022.  
  • The high cost of agricultural inputs is increasing the financial burden among rural households. The government subsidizes fertilizers for agro-dealers, who supply the farmers with farm inputs.
  • High staple food prices are likely to persist in rural areas, limiting access to food. However, increased agricultural labor for Season B harvest and Season A land preparation will provide employment and income-earning opportunities in rural areas.
  • Early depletion of food stocks and reliance on purchases amid high prices will likely lead to reduced food access in rural areas.
  • The Season C harvest from the Marshland in Southern Province is likely to be low due to the forecasted below-average rainfall, high cost of farm inputs, and reduced planted acreage.
  • Based on the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) forecasts, the September to December 2022 rainfall in Rwanda is likely to be below average, increasing the chances of reduced crop yields for Season A 2022/2023.

Kigali City

  • Although the urban unemployment rate fell to 17.8 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, it remains slightly above pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2020. The lack of full recovery in employment is likely due to slowed economic growth prospects and a higher inflation rate.
  • The urban CPI for food and non-alcoholic beverages in July 2022 sustained an upward trend starting in January 2022, rising by 28.6 percent compared to July last year and 2.9 percent compared to June 2022.
  • Food prices in urban areas are likely to increase due to reduced supply from rural areas during the primary lean season and high costs of imported food items. The increasing trend in the CPI for food and non-alcoholic beverages will likely persist throughout 2022.  
  • According to the Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the economy is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2022, reflecting a  slowdown due to the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war. As a result, employment, wages, and household purchasing power are expected to decline amid high food and non-food prices.

Refugee and asylee population

  • The estimated 127,194 refugees and asylees continued receiving a reduced food ration. The June 2022 WFP report shows that 86 percent of highly vulnerable refugees received a monthly cash transfer for up to 27 days of their kilocalorie (kcal) needs. Seven percent of refugees who are considered moderately vulnerable received a monthly cash transfer for up to 14 days of their kcal needs. According to WFP monitoring, the food price increase in June 2022 lowered the purchasing power for highly and moderately vulnerable groups by 32 and 66 percent, respectively.
  • Due to a WFP funding gap of USD 4.8 million, reduced rations for highly and moderately vulnerable refugees and asylees will likely persist throughout 2022. The value of cash transfers will likely continue to decrease due to increasing food prices, compromising the quantity and quality of food purchased. 

 

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY 2023

In general, the average Season B harvest has enhanced food availability and access in rural areas; however, shortfalls expected in the Eastern part were compensated by crops produced from the irrigation scheme. The availability of interseason crops is expected to generally maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes until January. Income from the Seasonal increased labor demand for land preparation for Season A planting and from selling poultry and small ruminants is also enhancing food access. However, atypically high food prices in the harvest season are limiting access for many poor households. The rural Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose for the seventh consecutive month in July, rising by 34.5 percent annually and 6.4 percent compared to June 2022. The rise in the monthly food CPI was mainly driven by 8.4 and 10.8 percent increases in prices of non-alcoholic beverages and vegetables, respectively, linked to the high cost of food production and transport.

Given a 70-percent lower harvest of Irish potatoes in Northern Province and increased sales of stocks motivated by high staple prices, households are likely to deplete their supplies earlier than usual. Ultimately, families will start relying on purchases amid high prices, leading to limited food access and an increased number of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) households. The share of households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity is expected to peak during the next lean season from October to December 2022, when their own-produced food stocks are lowest, and market reliance is high. This is mainly expected to manifest in the reduced dietary diversity of their meals, as well as some difficulty affording essential non-food needs. More severe deterioration in acute food insecurity is expected to be mitigated by an increase in household sales of poultry and livestock.

Household income levels are higher than in the past two years, driven by the recent economic recovery that has created employment and business opportunities in Kigali. As a result, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are most likely among the urban population. However, food prices remain relatively high despite the seasonal increase in food supplies to urban areas after the Season B harvest. The July 2022 urban CPI recorded a sustained increasing trend in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, with annual and monthly increases of 28.6 and 2.9 percent, respectively. Higher food prices, high cost of transport, and non-food items continue to limit households’ purchasing power, likely increasing the number of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) urban households.

UNHCR’s July 2022 estimates show that Rwanda hosts an estimated 127,194 protracted refugees and asylees, many of whom continue to depend almost entirely on humanitarian food assistance. In addition, Rwanda received 103 refugees evacuated from Libya on August 18, 2022, adding to the 421 refugees already settled in the Gashora Transit Centre. The refugee population is expected to remain Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!), food assistance likely preventing worse food insecurity outcomes. The growing economic activities in early 2022 stimulated informal employment and labor opportunities for the refugees, but the income remains insufficient to cover their basic needs. Low income, high food prices, and the anticipated economic slowdown leave many at risk of food consumption gaps. WFP continued to distribute reduced food rations, with highly vulnerable refugees (86 percent of the population) receiving 92 percent of the food basket, while the moderately vulnerable, who comprise 7 percent of the refugee population, received 46 percent of the food basket. WFP monitoring indicates that the average cost of the food basket increased by 11.5 percent in June 2022 compared to the previous month.  

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
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