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Limited purchasing power for poor households in the northeast through May

  • Key Message Update
  • Tanzania
  • March 2017
Limited purchasing power for poor households in the northeast through May

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • While the Vuli harvest accounts for only about 20 percent of annual production in many northeast areas, the significant crop failure has left many poor households market dependent much earlier than normal. A recent FEWS NET assessment confirmed there was near total crop failure in lowland areas of Arusha, and for the region as a whole, production was approximately 25 percent of normal. In Tanga, the harvest was less than 50 percent of normal, and in Kilimanjaro, crop production was below average except in highland areas. As a result, poor households are expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least May until the Msimu harvest.

    • A resurgence of Msimu rains, from late January through mid-March, has improved rangeland resources and allowed for the production of short-cycle vegetables in drought-hit northeastern Tanzania.  However, livestock are likely to gradually recover due to the severity of the extended drought from September through January. Labor opportunities for poor households are limited by reduced planting areas following the two to three-month delay in the season onset, compounding household purchasing capacities.

    • Staple food prices, except for rice, are rising sharply and remained elevated during the Vuli harvest, restricting food access for poor households. The retail price of a kilogram of maize in Arusha market, ranged between Tsh. 950-1,000, in early March, as compared to Tsh. 600-700 during a comparable period last year. The Government of Tanzania has restricted exports of primary commodities, such as maize, beans, and rice, permitting only exports of flour and other processed products, moderating more substantive price spikes.

    • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicated that as of March 12, Tanzania hosted 305,000 refugees, about 234,256 from Burundi, displaced since April 2015. The refugees are residing in Nyarugusu and Nduta camps, both at overcapacity, as well as Mtendeli camp. Significant funding constraints have led WFP to reduce food rations to 53 percent of the full value for March and April. Only one percent of the 2017 requirement is funded, compounding a 34 percent funding gap carried over from 2016. The majority of the refugees are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in the presence of humanitarian assistance, but those, who arrived after Vuli planting, are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).  

    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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