Skip to main content

Despite the easing of COVID-19 related lockdown measures, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes remain

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Rwanda
  • June 2020
Despite the easing of COVID-19 related lockdown measures, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes remain

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The government of Rwanda relaxed most COVID-19 lockdown measures on June 1 and further relaxed restrictions on June 16 following an expansion in COVID-19 testing and tracking. Testing capacity is currently reported by the Ministry of Health at around 4,000 tests per day. Apart from the education sector, all public and private businesses have resumed work under specific health guidelines such as temperature checks and mandatory mask wearing. Transport between provinces is permitted, except to and from Rusizi and Rubavu districts which have been identified as COVID-19 hotspots.

    • Despite the easing of the lockdown measures, poor households in Kigali are unlikely to earn sufficient income to meet their basic food and non-food needs. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely at the area-level, with some worst-affected households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). On June 8, a 100 billion RWF business recovery fund was launched to support businesses and safeguard employment. Under the assumption of continued absence of COVID-19 related movement restrictions, area-level food security outcomes are likely to improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) by October, as incomes and livelihoods return to near normal levels. However, some poor households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of assistance.

    • The ongoing Season B harvest is expected to be average nationally. Average to above-average rainfall benefited major crops such as banana, maize, sorghum, and roots and tubers, producing enough to compensate for the production shortfalls of moisture-sensitive beans and Irish potatoes. Crop losses from localized flooding and landslides in Northern and Western provinces did not significantly impact national production. The July to November Season C production in lowland areas is expected to be average to above average as water reserves are currently above-average. As a result, the prices of most staple foods are expected to remain below their five-year averages. Furthermore, COVID-19 restrictions have not notably impacted income among rural populations who are relying heavily on own production. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected throughout the projection period in rural areas, though with some worst-affected households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of assistance.

    ZoneCurrent AnomaliesProjected Anomalies
    Nationwide, but particularly in urban areas
    • Though most public and private sectors have reopened, many workers remain jobless and have lower access to food.

    • Rubavu and Rusizi districts are currently in lockdown following a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases. As rural areas that rely heavily on own production, above-average food stocks are maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. 

    • Economic activity, particularly in the tourism and hospitality industries, is expected to be significantly below-average through January 2021.

    • Rubavu and Rusizi will remain on lockdown until at least mid-July. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are anticipated due to above-average household food reserves. If the lockdown remains through September, food security will deteriorate quickly driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as food stocks diminish.




    The initial relaxation of the lockdown on June 1 has led to a daily average of 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases. With increased testing (>4,000 tests per day) and contact tracing capacity, the government further relaxed the lockdown on June 16, permitting domestic and international tourism for visitors traveling on charter flights, along with the reopening of hotels and conference facilities.

    Kigali is no longer the COVID-19 hotspot as most new positive cases are from Rusizi and Rubavu District in the Western Province. On June 16, transport to and from Rusizi and Rubavu was not permitted due to community transmission and increasing COVID-19 cases. The government will reassess COVID-19 prevention measures every 15 days and modify prevention measures as needed. On June 28, Rusizi, Rubavu, Kigali, and Kirehe recorded eight, seven, six, and one confirmed case of COVD-19, respectively. It is likely that the lockdown of Rusizi and Rubavu will remain in place until at least mid-July. Although rural households in Rusizi and Rubavu have temporarily lost trade opportunities and labor incomes due to domestic travel restrictions and the border closure with the DRC; household food stocks are expected to remain average to above-average following the favorable Season 2020 A, and upcoming Season 2020 B harvests driving Minimal (IPC Phase 2) outcomes with some households experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. If the lockdown continues in Rusizi and Rubavu through September, which is unlikely, household food reserves will likely be very low, and food security is expected to deteriorate quickly driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes from October to December without assistance.

    On June 8, the government launched a 100 billion RWF business recovery fund (105 million USD) to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 so they can survive, restart work/production, and safeguard employment. Assistance will be provided to hard-hit sectors such as hotels, which reportedly lost over 90 percent of expected revenue. The fund will also support businesses in manufacturing (including agri-processing), transport and logistics, as well as small and medium enterprises linked to domestic and global supply chains. There is a possibility for additional assistance as the government is aiming to at least double the fund. This is expected to contribute to improving food security outcomes in Kigali from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) by September.

    According to the NISR consumer price bulletin, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages between April and May 2020 decreased by an estimated 1.4 percent and 3.6 percent in rural and urban areas, respectively, in anticipation of the incoming harvest. With the relaxation of restrictions previously put on travel and transportation of goods, the prices of staples such as maize are expected to remain stable or decrease, while remaining below their five-year averages, aided by the incoming average Season B harvest.

    Food prices in Rwanda have been dropping in real terms since the beginning of the year, even for poor performing crops such as beans (Figure 1). This has been driven by the above-average rainfall, and the steady expansion of irrigation and the use of certified seeds and fertilizers across the country, especially in the semi-arid areas of the Eastern province (Figure 2).

    By the end of May 2020, according to UNHCR, Rwanda hosted 148,938 refugees and asylum seekers mainly from DRC and Burundi. Due to border closures, the monthly arrival rate of Burundian asylum seekers fell to two in May, down from the annual average of 216 per month. With refugee camps also under lockdown and refugees unable to work outside the camps, approximately 137,000 camp-based refugees are solely dependent on WFP and other humanitarian organizations for assistance. Despite reduced access to own incomes, most are still likely in Minimal! (IPC Phase 1!). However, there remains a risk that WFP food assistance funding could run out in August 2020 with ration reductions starting as early as July 2020 if 9.3 million USD of funding is not secured. Approximately, 11,516 refugees (91 percent Burundian) living in urban areas, mainly in Kigali, remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) despite the relaxation of the lockdown, as income and received remittances remain below average.


    Figures Projected maize grain (top) and dry beans (bottom) prices in Kigali (USD/MT). Maize grain prices are stable through January 2

    Figure 1

    Figure 1.

    Source: FEWS NET estimates based on data from RATIN

    Comparison of 2015 and 2020 improved farming practices by small-scale farmers (<10 ha) in Season A. Percentage of farmers who

    Figure 2

    Figure 2.

    Source: National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR)

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top