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September to December 2019 Season A rainfall has been above average across the country and forecasts indicate rainfall for the remainder of the season will be average. Average harvests are expected from December 2019 to February 2020. Prices of staple foods are below the three-year average and are anticipated to remain low throughout the projection period. These factors will drive Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through May 2020.
Despite the generally favorable production prospects, relatively heavy rainfall also increases risk of flooding in lowlands across the country and of localized landslides, particularly in the Western province. These disasters are likely to cause the loss of household assets and destruction of crops in some areas. Some households will face difficulty meeting their basic food and non-food needs immediately following these events, though the government and humanitarian partners are prepared to respond swiftly with assistance.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, food prices in Rwanda increased between August and September by 4.4 and 2.4 percent for rural and urban areas respectively. FEWS NET and East African Grain Council data show that the price of maize, the cereal most consumed in Rwanda, has been increasing since June and reached its 5-year average level in August and September. That price increase is partly related to the closure of the main border post between Uganda and Rwanda which remains closed despite discussions for a reopening. As the price of maize grain and flour are generally lower in Uganda than in Rwanda (Figure 1), the resumption of normal trade between the two countries would likely contribute to lowering food prices in Rwanda, thus improving households’ access to food.
Although they are gradually being integrated to the national social and economic systems, camp-based refugees (estimated population of 147,000) remain heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance. WFP Rwanda has reported that without additional funding, it will likely cut its food and cash-based assistance to camp-based refugees and other vulnerable groups. In the absence of assistance, these populations would likely be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
|ZONE||Current Anomalies||Projected anomalies|
|National||Gatuna border post in northern Rwanda remains closed since March 2019. Food imports from Uganda, including maize and beans have significantly reduced, contributing increased prices and limited accessibility.||The relations between the governments of Rwanda and Uganda are expected to normalize, followed by the reopening of the Gatuna border post. This is likely to reduce the prices of staples in Rwanda, particularly in urban areas.|
FEWS NET recently visited the Eastern, Southern and Western provinces and observed that the September 2019 – January 2020 Season A crops are
developing well, as rains have been generally above average to average across the country. Farmers staggered their planting, based on rainfall distribution and as a climate risk reduction strategy, but no significant planting delays were observed. The government supported farmers’ access to inputs through free or subsidized distribution of seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs. Rainfall is forecast to be average for the remainder of the season and this is expected to support an overall average harvest.
However, sustained and abundant rains also greatly increase the risks of flooding in lowlands and valleys across the country, and landslides, particularly in mountainous areas of Western Province. These disasters cause the loss of household assets and destruction of crops in some areas. Some households will face difficulty meeting their basic food and non-food needs immediately following these events though the government and humanitarian partners are actively preparing to respond rapidly with assistance.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, food prices are following seasonal trends, increasing by 4.4 and 2.4 percent for rural and urban areas respectively between August and September 2020. The prices of cereals increased by 13.5 percent compared to September 2018, but this reflects the exceptionally low price it had reached that month. As the price of maize seems to be generally lower in Uganda (Figure 1), the reopening of the Border Post of Gatuna, in northern Rwanda, would help stabilize and eventually reduce food prices in Rwanda, particularly in the Northern Province and in urban areas.
Looking forward, the March to June 2020 Season B is forecast to be average, and therefore another average harvest in June-July is anticipated. This rainfall is also expected to support normal access to agricultural labor opportunities throughout the projection period. Normal production, typical access to income through farm and non-farm labor (road and irrigation projects, high labor intensity schemes), and average food prices are likely to support Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity among poor households throughout the projection period.
The transit mechanism that the Government of Rwanda, UNHCR, and the African Union designed to assist refugees and asylum-seekers in detention centres in Libya started normally. As of October 26, 190 refugees were flown to Rwanda and are residing at the Gashora Transit refugee camp in Bugesera District. Despite their increasing integration into the national social and economic systems and supplemental humanitarian assistance, about 147,000 camp-based are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes or worse in the event current levels of humanitarian assistance do not continue due to funding shortfalls expected in 2020.
SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR
Source: FEWS NET
Source: FEWS NET and EAGC
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.