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Minimal (IPC Phase 1) likely in most areas with average second season harvest

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Uganda
  • December 2017
Minimal (IPC Phase 1) likely in most areas with average second season harvest

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  • Key Messages
  • CURRENT SITUATION
  • UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2018
  • Key Messages
    • Most areas of Uganda received average rainfall during the September to December second rainy season, though rainfall deficits were recorded in some western and central regions. Overall, total national production is estimated to be average. Staple food prices have declined further with the harvest and are near the five-year average in most markets. The ongoing harvest, and favorable food prices, are supporting Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes in bimodal areas. 

    • In Karamoja, sorghum production was average while maize production was below average. Food security has seasonally improved, although most poor households are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least May. The lean season is expected to begin in March and households in Rupa, Nadunget, and Tapac, who experienced more significant crop losses, are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the March to June lean season. 

    • The daily arrival rate of South Sudanese seeking refuge in Uganda continues to decline: roughly 120 people arrived daily in December, compared to 2,000 per day in late 2016. WFP continues to provide a full ration to all South Sudanese refugees who arrived after July 2015 and most are Stressed (IPC Phase 2!). Humanitarian assistance is funded and prepositioned to meet needs through April 2018 and most South Sudanese refugees are expected to maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) through April. After April, in the absence of assistance, refugees would likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).  


    CURRENT SITUATION

    The September to December second rainy season in bimodal areas ended in mid-December. Although rainfall towards the end of the season was below average, total seasonal rainfall was still sufficient for normal crop development and total national production is expected to be average. However, isolated areas of the country experienced post-harvest losses due to atypically heavy late season rainfall. In some western and central areas, despite overall below-average rainfall, most farmers planted and harvested early due to the early start of rainfall. Average production is still expected in these areas. In Karamoja, rainfall was above average and average sorghum production is expected, although Nadunget and Rupa subcounties in Moroto had minimal to no sorghum harvest. Maize harvests in Karamoja were below average due to the combined impact of an atypically long dry spell and some losses due to Fall Armyworm.

    Compared to 2016, rainfall during the 2017 second season was significantly higher in Karamoja and eastern Uganda (Figure 1). Rainfall was much lower in central, southern and western areas compared to 2016, but only slightly low when compared to normal. In general, rainfall totals were higher this year and 2017 second season production is expected to be relatively better than 2016 second season production.

    Food availability at the household level and on markets has seasonally increased with the harvest. Staple food prices have declined as a result, and food prices are now near average and below levels observed in early and mid-2017 (Figure 2). In Karamoja, for example, the retail price of sorghum in Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kaabong, and Kotido declined by an average of 23 percent between October and November, and is now slightly below average in all markets except Kaabong, where the price remains 37 percent above average. As a result of food price declines and stable charcoal/firewood prices, household purchasing power is generally average throughout the country. Terms of trade have also notably improved compared to the same time in 2016.

    Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity exists in most areas of Uganda, as poor households have access to normal levels of production, average staple food prices, and stable wage rates, all of which are supporting normal food access. In Karamoja, most poor households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). This is an improvement relative to the same time last year when households experienced greater production losses and faced above-average staple food prices.

    As of late November, Uganda is hosting approximately 1.3 million refugees, over 1,057,000 of whom are from South Sudan. The daily arrival rate of South Sudanese refugees has declined to roughly 120 people a day in December 2017, compared to 2,000 per day in late 2016. South Sudanese refugees who cultivated crops currently have access to some vegetables and horticultural crops. However, humanitarian assistance remains refugees’ main source of food. WFP provided a full ration in November and December to all refugees who arrived after July 2015 and Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) persists among this population. 


    UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

    The assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the Uganda Food Security Outlook for October 2017 to May 2018 remain unchanged except for the following:

    • Given additional funding, WFP is expected to provide assistance at current levels through April 2018 to South Sudanese refugees. 

    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2018

    In Karamoja, near average food stocks are likely to last poor households through February/March, after which they will primarily access food through market purchases and wild foods. Staple food prices are likely to remain near average and below last year. This will support favorable terms of trade with respect to casual wages and firewood/charcoal. However, some poor households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In Abim and Kotido, very poor households will deteriorate from Minimal (IPC Phase 1) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in March. Some poor households in Rupa, Nadunget, and Tapac, which experienced more significant crop losses, are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the March to June lean season.

    In bimodal areas, average production and stable food prices will support Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes through at least May 2018. All refugees who arrived after July 2015 are likely to receive a full ration of assistance through April 2018, which will support Stressed (IPC Phase 2!). In the absence of additional funding for assistance beyond April, food security among the refugee population is expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3).  

    Figures Figure 1. Rainfall in mm, Sept.1-Dec.10, 2017 compared to Sept.1-Dec.10, 2016, CHIRPS prelim

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Rainfall in mm, Sept.1-Dec.10, 2017 compared to Sept.1-Dec.10, 2016, CHIRPS prelim

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 2. Retail price of maize, Masindi

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. Retail price of maize, Masindi

    Source: WFP and Farmgain data

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

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