Remote Monitoring Report

Relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions supports economic recovery

October 2020

October 2020 - January 2021

The map shows the highest phase classification is Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

February - May 2021

IPC v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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

  • On September 25, following a drop in active COVID-19 cases, public transport began operating at full capacity across the country, slightly reducing transportation costs.  Additionally, the reopening of schools in October has allowed the education sector to resume for the first time since March. If COVID-19 infection rates continue to remain low, economic recovery in formal and informal sectors is likely to improve income-earning opportunities and food access for urban households, driving improvements in urban food security from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) by February 2021.

  • The ongoing agricultural 2020/2021 Season A is progressing well. The rains started on time in mid-September, except in parts of the Northern and Eastern provinces where the rains were delayed by two to three weeks but were only slightly below average and generally well distributed. Average to below-average Season A harvests are expected from December 2020 to January 2021, reducing food prices and improving household food access. However, the price of beans is likely to remain high through the first quarter of 2021, driven by the prospect of a below-average harvest in the Eastern province and limited imports from Uganda.

  • Following the peaceful Burundian presidential election in May 2020, an agreement between UNHCR and the Rwandan and Burundian governments was reached to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees. Since August 27, there have been six convoys repatriating a total of 3,062 Burundian refugees. Approximately 500 refugees are expected to return to Burundi every two weeks due to the transit site's capacity in northwestern Burundi, limiting the return rate.

ZONE CURRENT ANOMALIES PROJECTED ANOMALIES
Kigali City
  • Many jobs lost in the first months of lockdown have not reopened.
  • Economic activity in the formal and informal sectors remains slow, limiting income-earning opportunities and food access.
  • The October reopening of schools and related school expenses will increase household costs and limit many urban households' purchasing power.
  • Any surges in COVID-19 infections following the relaxation of control measures will likely be rapidly suppressed. Households are likely to increase income-earning opportunities and food access,  supporting a return to pre-COVID-19 Minimal (IPC Phase 1) urban food security outcomes.

 

PROJECTED OUTCOMES THROUGH MAY 2021

As of October 24, Rwanda's COVID-19 test positivity rate has ranged between 0.1 to 1.8 percent over the last two weeks, along with a drop in daily confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Expanded testing and tracing capacity is also helping control a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections. The decline in national confirmed COVID-19 cases led to removing public transport restrictions in late September, allowing buses to fill all available seats and going anywhere across the country, provided people follow basic health guidelines (mask-wearing and frequent handwashing). The normalization of public transport is expected to reduce household costs, improving household purchasing power and food access.  As economic activity across the country continues to increase across various sectors, urban and rural household income and consumption is expected to improve steadily.

The ongoing 2020/21 Season A started on-time across most of the country. Rainfall has been adequate for the current crop development stages, except for localized parts of the northern and eastern provinces where the rains were delayed by two to three weeks.  Imports of beans from Uganda, a traditional supplier in times of shortages, have not resumed as the Gatuna border post remains closed. Imports of rice, maize, and beans from Tanzania are likely to continue filling some domestic supply gaps, improving household food access and moderating prices.

According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), from August to September 2020, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 2.2 and 3.9 percent for urban and rural areas, respectively. However, the price increase was driven primarily by 'vegetables' (beans, bananas, roots, tubers, fruits, and vegetables), which increased by 5.8 percent nationally.  Nationally, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 15.1 percent compared to September 2019, with the price of 'cereals' and 'vegetables' rising by 4.7 and 22.5 percent, respectively. The national cost of transport, which accounts for 8 percent of the average household expenses, was 22.7 percent higher than last year.

As of August 31, 2020, UNHCR Rwanda reported that there are  148,694 refugees in Rwanda. Approximately 48 percent are Burundian, and 52 percent are from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Following the recent peaceful Burundian presidential election, an agreement between UNHCR and the Rwandan and Burundian governments was reached to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees. Since August 27, there have been six convoys repatriating a total of 3,062 Burundian refugees. More refugees would have been repatriated, but the reception center's capacity in northwestern Burundi is currently unable to accept more returnees.  The estimated 12,000 Burundian refugees in urban areas are unlikely to return soon, despite reduced income-earning opportunities during the urban lockdowns and declines in remittances. Urban refugees are likely Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with the worst-affected households likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

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.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics