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In bimodal areas, atypically dry conditions in February have somewhat hindered land preparation activities for the first season. However, given the forecast for near-average March-May rainfall, near-normal crop and livestock production is expected to support normal seasonal access to food and income in the coming season, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes anticipated to persist in most areas through September. In greater northern Uganda where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes currently prevail, improved food availability and access with the harvest around June is expected to improve outcomes to Minimal (IPC Phase 1). However, localized areas across the country that experience irregular distribution of rainfall over the course of the season are likely to realize below-average crop production, with some households remaining in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Atypically high staple food prices nationwide are expected to continue constraining food access among poor households prior to the next harvest in June, especially in greater northern Uganda where below-average 2022 harvests were depleted earlier than usual. Despite seasonal declines in January, staple food prices are expected to remain atypically high through at least June when new harvests from bimodal areas will replenish supplies. Upward pressure on prices is being driven by below-average domestic supplies, above-average regional demand, and high fuel prices.
In Karamoja, poor households are generally earning less income from the typical sources compared to last year, largely driven by the impacts of ongoing insecurity on livelihoods and trade. Staple food prices are also significantly elevated, with most poor households highly dependent on markets for food following below-average crop production last year. Given the forecast for below-average rainfall during Karamoja’s April to September 2023 rainy season, a fourth consecutive season of below-average crop production is likely. In most districts, more than 20 percent of the population is expected to continue to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, with this number expected to increase as the lean season progresses through August. Without adequate food and nutrition assistance, malnutrition prevalence is expected to rise to or exceed 2022 levels by June.
Uganda’s refugee population is expected to increase throughout the projection period, driven by continued conflict in the DRC and South Sudan. This is expected to further constrain already inadequate funding for humanitarian food assistance. In February, most assistance rations are equivalent to an estimated 27-62 percent of households’ minimum caloric needs. In the coming months, the imminent shift from geographical targeting (based on settlement location) to needs-based targeting is likely to result in adjustments in ration sizes for many refugees, with some being entirely removed from beneficiary lists. Given this, limited income-earning opportunities, and above-average food prices, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are expected to persist through September. However, worst-affected households are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, with the number expected to increase (though remain less than 20 percent of the population) by May 2023 before the bimodal harvests in June boost food availability and drive price declines.
Source: FEWS NET
In bimodal areas, the October to December 2022 second rainy season concluded with above-average cumulative rainfall in most areas, according to data from CHIRPS (Figure 1). However, some areas (particularly in the West Nile subregion and parts of the eastern and central regions) received below-average cumulative rainfall. Additionally, across the country, rainfall was poorly distributed throughout the growing season, with dry spells negatively impacting crops at critical stages of growth. Though above-normal rainfall was received at the end of the season, it was too late to reverse stunted crop growth, poor crop health, and low yield in some areas. Heavy rainfall during the harvest period also led to additional yield losses, especially for pulses. Overall, second season cereal production was below average nationally, most pronounced in the greater northern Uganda and parts of eastern Uganda. Bean production was also below average. In contrast, production of perennial crops like bananas, coffee, tea, and other long-cycle crops like cassava benefited from the late seasonal rains.
In February, farmers have concluded post-harvesting activities and the dry season is ongoing. Overall, rainfall during the dry season since January has been below average (Figure 2), somewhat hindering normal plowing and land preparation activities in advance of planting for the 2023 first season. Though moderate rainfall amounts in the form of scattered showers were received across much of the country in the last week of February, much of the greater north continued to be dry, with little to no rainfall. Additionally, above-average temperatures have exacerbated seasonally dry conditions. In the period of February 11 to 20, 2023, recorded temperatures were warmer than normal by 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
Atypically dry and hot conditions have driven unusually rapid decline in pasture and water resources, which are now notably below normal levels in much of the northern half of the country. The Karamoja sub-region, where the highest temperatures have been recorded, has been worst affected. Since January, wildfires in Karamoja have depleted dry season grazing areas in addition to destroying homes and property, including food stocks in some cases. According to remote sensing Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, vegetation conditions are below normal and notably worse than last year across most of the northern half of the country, including Karamoja (Figure 3).
In the cattle corridor districts, livestock body conditions and productivity of meat and milk are near seasonal low levels and are slightly below normal in the north, according to key informant reports. In Karamoja, pastoralists are migrating their livestock westward in search of pasture and water resources, to minimize competition and conflict with Turkana herders from Kenya. Resource conflict is of high concern in parts of Moroto and Kotido, which share livestock watering facilities with herds from Turkana (which is also abnormally dry). However, traditional dry season livestock rearing activities in Karamoja (including livestock movements, sharing of pasture and water resources, and marketing activities) continue to be hindered by periodic insecurity incidents.
According to the Bank of Uganda’s Monetary Policy Statement for February 2023 and quarterly GDP data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), economic growth in the last three quarters of 2022 was stronger than expected, averaging 6 percent. This was attributed to strong growth in the industrial and service sectors, which outweighed contraction of the agricultural sector following the impacts of weather hazards on production in recent seasons. Additionally, the Composite Index of Economic Activity (CIEA), a high-frequency indicator of domestic economic activity, showed 1.5 percent growth in the second quarter of FY 2022/23 (September-December 2022), up from 0.3 percent growth in the previous quarter. These economic gains and continued improvement in business sentiments are likely increasing income-earning opportunities for the urban poor during the ongoing post COVID-19 recovery period. However, the pace of growth continues to be limited by higher costs of production and doing business, (driven by high costs of fuel and other goods), diminished purchasing power among the population due to inflation, and tight monetary policy by the central bank, among other factors.
Uganda’s year-on-year headline inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, remained high at 10.4 percent in January 2023, slightly up from 10.2 percent in December (Figure 4). However, month-on-month, the CPI decreased marginally by 0.2 percent in January 2023, registering the first monthly decline in prices since January 2022. This was mainly driven by a 3.0 percent decline in the index for passenger transport services, likely due to declining fuel prices, with the index for energy, fuel and utilities declining slightly by 0.5 percent, driven by a 4.3 percent decline in petrol prices. The index for food crops and related items also declined slightly by 0.4 percent in January, driven by an 8.5 percent decline in prices of matooke, and a 7.4 percent decline in prices of passion fruits. While recent reductions in prices are improving purchasing power and helping households access essential commodities and services, prices remain higher than last year overall. The year-on-year inflation rate for the food crops and related items index is particularly high, at 27.6 percent. While this benefits producers, it is harmful to market-dependent households.
In bimodal areas, staple food prices generally declined across most monitored markets from December to January (Figure 5), linked to improved availability from the 2022 second season harvests. However, prices of beans increased in most major markets, following particularly poor production and post-harvest losses due to adverse weather conditions. Overall, staple food prices in January generally remained above prices recorded last year and five-year average levels (Figure 6), due primarily to below-average supplies given four consecutive seasons of below-normal production and high regional demand, especially from Kenya.
In Karamoja, retail prices of staple sorghum declined by 7-27 percent from December to January in Moroto, Kotido, and Napak markets, but remained generally stable (declined by 4 percent) in Kaabong and increased by 8 percent in Nakapiripirit. Prices have generally been declining from peak levels recorded in June, driven by increased supplies from the 2022 main harvest in Karamoja and the 2022 second season harvest in neighboring bimodal Acholi, Teso, and Lango areas. Nonetheless, prices remain significantly above average in most markets, driven largely by below-average production in both Karamoja and neighboring bimodal areas. Sorghum prices in January 2023 remained 12 to 57 percent higher than last year in Kotido, Kaabong, Napak, and Nakapiripirit, though 22 percent lower than last year in Moroto. Similarly, prices in January were 33 to 88 percent above average in Nakapiripirit, Kaabong, Kotido, and Napak markets, although they were similar in Moroto market given recent volatility.
In Karamoja, the ongoing quarantine due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk has resulted in market disruptions, compounded by continued insecurity in the Karamoja region and neighboring districts and below-average livestock body conditions due to dry conditions. As a result, households have lost income due to their inability to sell livestock and due to fluctuating livestock prices.
FEWS NET observed in a January 2023 field assessment that Karamoja households are still intensely engaging in charcoal burning and firewood collection despite the enforcement of local by-laws against these livelihood activities due to environmental degradation. However, poor households are generally earning below-average income from sales of charcoal and firewood due to below-average prices in most markets as well as competition among households engaging in these activities. Poor households in Nakapiripirit, Napak, and Kaabong are worst-affected by low purchasing power due to both below-average prices of firewood and charcoal and above-average sorghum prices.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Uganda exported approximately 93,000 MT of maize, 62,000 MT of dry beans, and 22,000 MT of sorghum to the East African region. Exports of maize were slightly above the 2017-2021 average for the fourth quarter of the year, while exports of beans and sorghum were below average. Regional demand for Ugandan exports remains high following below-average harvests in importing countries. Demand from Kenya is especially high given that import taxes are also currently waved in an effort to increase the nation’s food reserves. Additionally, trade volumes to Rwanda have been steadily increasing since the border reopened in January 2022 after three years of closure. However, despite high regional demand, consecutive below-average harvests have reduced available stocks in Uganda, resulting in below-average exports of sorghum and beans. Overall, however, this high regional demand and below-average supply continues to exert upward pressure on food prices in Uganda.
Current Food Security Outcomes
In bimodal areas, many households are still benefiting from seasonal improvements in access to food and income from own-produced food stocks and labor opportunities associated with the 2022 second-season harvest that concluded in January. In addition, the recent decline in prices of staple foods and other goods has slightly improved purchasing power. However, prices of food, fuel, and other essential commodities – including farm inputs – remain above average and access to income remains below average for many households. Given more than four consecutive seasons of above-average prices and below-average income-earning, worst-affected poor households are likely unable to meet their food and essential non-food needs – including for typical investment in livelihoods like agricultural production – without engaging in coping strategies such as depleting their savings, selling assets, or borrowing, indicative of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. In areas of the greater north and parts of central and eastern Uganda (including the Teso subregion) where crop production has been below-average for up to a fourth consecutive season, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected at the area level. In other bimodal areas, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected at the area level, though the number of households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes is atypically high, particularly in areas that experienced localized weather shocks such as dry spells or floods.
In urban areas where households are highly dependent on markets to meet their food needs, high inflation continues to strain poor households’ limited available resources and erode remaining coping capacity. Despite gradual economic recovery, income-earning likely remains largely below-average. Most poor households are likely unable to meet all their essential non-food needs, with Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes expected.
In Karamoja, insecurity and dry conditions continue to disrupt typical livelihood activities such as livestock rearing. Income-earning from most typical sources remains below average. Additionally, crop production in 2022 was poor, marking a third consecutive season of below-average production. Many households harvested little or nothing, while others quickly sold off their available harvest to repay debts or purchase other food and non-food items following the prolonged lean season in 2022. As a result, an atypically high number of poor households have already depleted their limited own-produced food stocks and spent their income from crop sales, marking an early start to the lean season by January. At the same time, elevated food prices and below-average purchasing power are further limiting food access. Many poor households are facing slight to moderate food consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes. At the area level, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely in most of the region. Additional analysis on Karamoja is provided in the "area of concern" section below.
According to UNHCR/OPM, Uganda hosted 1,521,424 refugees and asylum seekers – mostly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – as of February 28, 2023. Given limited livelihood options, refugees living in settlements obtain most of their food from market purchases and humanitarian assistance. Most refugees receive humanitarian assistance distributions monthly. However, many refugees have experienced ration reductions since 2021, with rations now expected to be equivalent to around 27-62 percent of most beneficiary households’ total minimum energy requirements, though beneficiaries who receive cash-based transfers (CBT) in southwestern settlements are expected to be receiving 62 percent rations as of February market prices, according to data and information from WFP. Given above-average food prices and four consecutive seasons of below-average harvests affecting the approximately 42 percent of refugee households that engage in agricultural production (as most have likely already exhausted stocks from the recent harvest), many refugees are exhausting their food assistance rations earlier than usual, around the midway point between distributions, according to information obtained during a January field assessment. According to a Food Security and Nutrition Assessment (FSNA) conducted by WFP and partners in May 2022, the prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) among children under 5 increased from 6.9 percent in 2020 to 8.2 percent in 2022, on average, across West Nile Settlements, and from 1.8 percent in 2020 to 4.0 percent in 2022, on average, across southwestern settlements. Though Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are expected at the area level, with humanitarian assistance preventing worse outcomes, an increasing number of worst-affected households are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, particularly immediately prior to assistance distributions. Additional analysis on refugee settlements is provided in the "area of concern" section below.
The most likely scenario from February to September 2023 is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- According to international and regional forecasts, the March to May 2023 first rainy season in bimodal Uganda is most likely to be near average overall. However, uncertainty exists (see “events that might change the outlook” table below).
- According to international and regional forecasts, land surface temperatures are expected to be above average throughout the projection period.
- Given expectations for near average rainfall, production of cereals and pulses in the 2023 first bimodal season is expected to be near average at the national level. However, below-average production is possible in localized areas that experience delayed onset of rains, cumulative rainfall deficits, and/or poor temporal distribution of rainfall. The main harvest is expected to occur largely from June to August, with green harvest consumption expected in May. Market supplies and household food stocks are expected to be at near normal levels from June to September following improvements from the first season harvest.
- Availability of agricultural labor opportunities is expected to be at seasonally high levels from February to May and again in August and September, associated with land preparation, planting, and weeding activities. Availability of agricultural labor opportunities and on-farm wage rates are likely to be near normal throughout the projection period.
- Pasture availability is expected to remain limited through March/April, in line with normal seasonal trends. Conditions during this time will likely remain near average in the southwestern cattle corridor districts, slightly to moderately below average across much of the greater north, and significantly below average in the Karamoja region. Following the start of the regions’ respective rainy seasons in late March/April, typical seasonal improvements are expected, with conditions expected to peak at near normal levels around May and thereafter remain stable and near average through September.
- Livestock body conditions and milk production are expected to remain at seasonally low levels through March/April. During this time, livestock body conditions and milk production are expected to be near normal for the time of year in most areas, although moderately below average in northern Uganda given below-average rainfall and pasture conditions to date. Following this, seasonal improvements in pasture will support improvement in livestock body conditions and milk production from around May/June to September, with near average levels expected.
- Access to traditional and migratory livestock grazing areas in many parts of Karamoja – especially in Moroto, Kotido, Napak, and Kaabong – is likely to continue to be hindered by insecurity characterized by armed livestock thefts between the Karamojong ethnic tribes and, in some instances, by tribes from Turkana and South Sudan neighboring areas.
- According to available international forecasts, cumulative rainfall during the start of the September to December second bimodal rainy season in August and September 2023 is expected to be average. However, considerable uncertainty exists due to the long lead time of the forecast.
- Exports of maize from Uganda to the structurally deficit-producing countries of Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi are expected to remain atypically high, above both last year’s levels and the five-year average. This expectation is based on poor crop production in Kenya due to drought conditions, the waiving of import duties by the Kenyan government, and the reopening of the border with Rwanda. Demand from structurally deficit-producing countries will increase further from February to April as stocks from local supplies decline. However, exports of sorghum and dry beans are likely to remain below average prior to the start of the next harvest in June, due to below-average stocks in Uganda.
- Given expectations for sustained high global energy prices, domestic fuel prices are expected to remain atypically high throughout the projection period. Prices will likely remain above the five-year average and higher than pre-Ukraine-Russia war levels, though lower than last year .
- Economic growth (as measured by GDP) in FY 2022/23 is projected by the Bank of Uganda to be in the range of 5.0 to 5.6 percent. As such, improved and near-normal economic activity and income-earning opportunities are expected to continue improving household purchasing power, especially for urban households.
- Staple food prices in bimodal areas are expected to continue increasing from February to May, given rising regional and local demand driven by households exhausting stocks and schools reopening in February. Prices are expected to remain above normal due to atypically low market supply following below-average harvests for four consecutive seasons, above-average regional demand, and overall high inflation. In June/July, prices are expected to decline as food from the new harvests boosts market supply and reduces household market demand. Prices are likely to remain highest in greater northern Uganda due to limited supplies from the previous season, exacerbated by relatively high fuel prices.
- Food and nutrition assistance programs in Karamoja – mainly provided by UNICEF and WFP – are likely to be scaled up during the lean season response, reaching levels comparable to last year.
- Humanitarian food assistance for refugees living in settlements is expected to continue. However, many individual households are likely to experience adjustments to ration size based on their assessed vulnerability given that WFP plans to shift to a needs-based approach to targeting in the first quarter of 2023. Some households will be completely removed from beneficiary lists, others will continue to receive relatively lower rations (of around 40 percent), and still others will experience ration increases (to 60 or 70 percent of minimum energy requirements), based on assessed vulnerability.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
In bimodal areas, increased availability of agricultural labor opportunities through May will support improved access to income for many households. Additionally, in the coming months, households will continue to benefit from food and income procured from the 2022 second season harvest. However, most poor households are expected to exhaust stocks from the previous harvest by around March, at least one month earlier than usual. Additionally, though households selling crops have benefited from high farmgate prices, above-average and rising prices of food and essential non-food commodities will constrain poor households’ available resources. Worst-affected poor households across the country will likely remain unable to meet all essential non-food needs and will likely continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or worse outcomes. In areas of the greater north that have faced up to four consecutive seasons of below-average crop production, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will likely persist at the area level during this time. Around May, access to the 2023 first-season green harvests will begin to improve food availability and reduce the population in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Following this, the bulk of the dry harvest around June is expected to further reduce the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) population and improve area-level outcomes to Minimal (IPC Phase 1). Food stocks from the 2023 first season harvest are generally expected to last most households through the end of the projection period in September, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes expected to persist.
In urban areas, poor households are generally expected to experience some improvement in income-earning alongside continued economic recovery. Though area-level outcomes are expected to improve from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (Phase 1) by June, some poor households will continue to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes given the ongoing impacts of high inflation which is limiting purchasing power. Around June, declining food prices following additional supply from the new harvests, purchasing power is expected to improve, further reducing the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) population.
In Karamoja, as the lean season intensifies until at least August (prior to the new harvest), poor households will continue to earn some income from casual labor, supplemented by sales of natural resources like charcoal and firewood, alcohol brewing, and rudimentary mining. However, income-earning is expected to remain below average overall given the impacts of ongoing insecurity and increased competition for limited available income-earning opportunities. Additionally, with most households highly dependent on markets during the lean season, above-average staple food prices will continue to suppress household purchasing power. As the lean season progress, an increasing number of households will likely begin to face food consumption gaps or face widening consumption gaps given already exhausted food stocks and highly eroded coping capacity after three consecutive below-average crop production seasons. The number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes is expected to increase through at least August 2023, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4), and with the number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes exceeding 20 percent of the population in many districts. Overall, assistance needs are expected to be similar to or higher than during the lean season last year. Given inadequate funding for nutrition assistance programming, malnutrition levels are also likely to increase during the lean season. Around August, the start of harvesting will improve food availability and reduce the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, but at least 20 percent of the population will continue to face such outcomes in many areas.
New arrivals of refugees are expected throughout the projection period, further straining limited available resources. Given inadequate funding and WFP’s imminent re-prioritization, refugees are expected to receive rations of only 40-70 percent or be removed from beneficiary lists. This reflects notable scale-down compared to several years ago when most refugees were receiving 70-100 percent rations. Given this and expectations for seasonally rising food prices through May, a growing number of households are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes by May. Rates of acute malnutrition are expected to increase in some settlements. In June, food from the harvest and seasonally declining food prices will improve food access for many refugee households, though worst-affected households will likely continue to face consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes. Overall, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are likely to persist at the area level.
Events that Might Change the Outlook
|Area||Event||Impact on Food Security Outcomes|
|Bimodal areas||March to May 2023 rainfall is below average and/or poorly distributed, leading to below-average first season crop production||This would reduce availability of agricultural labor opportunities in the March to May period. While households would still experience seasonal improvements in access to food from own-production and income from crop sales with the June harvest, households would exhaust available resources more quickly. Worst-affected areas would likely deteriorate to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) by September, with some households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). This would also reduce surplus in the post-harvest period, and price declines would be less than anticipated.|
Central Sorghum and Livestock (CSL) Livelihood Zone in Karamoja
The Karamoja subregion has an estimated population of 1,276,300, according to 2021 UBOS population estimates. The Central Sorghum and Livestock (CSL) livelihood zone in Karamoja (Figure 7) has an estimated population of 785,400. An estimated 29 percent (227,766 people) belong to the very poor wealth group, which is the focus of this analysis.
Source: FEWS NET
Harvesting for the 2022 main season concluded in late November to early December across Karamoja. Crop production was poor in most areas, with aggregate production an estimated 50 to 80 percent below average, due primarily to below-average and poorly distributed rainfall in Karamoja’s April to September unimodal rainy season, which affected both cultivated area and yields. In the worst-affected Tapac and Rupa sub-counties of Moroto district, most households harvested little or nothing. In Kotido and Napak, insecurity and cattle raids also affected the area of land cultivated by reducing the availability of oxen for plowing. In Nakapiripirit, the African armyworm and fall armyworm caused damage to both crops and pasture; households generally cannot effectively protect against pests because of lack of availability and high prices of effective pesticides. In the wet belt of Napak, poor post-harvest handling also led to damage and losses of harvested food stocks. Overall, many poor households have already exhausted food stocks.
Currently in February, households are clearing land in preparation for planting in April. Only small amounts of rainfall have been received in recent months, as is typical at this time of the year. Temperatures, however, have been above average. On average in February, mean district-level temperatures were around 43 to 48 degrees Celsius, which is around 2-4 degrees above average for the time of year. In localized areas, mean temperatures for February reached up to 7 degrees above average. Given these conditions, low levels of humidity and strong, dusty winds are currently prevailing in Karamoja, hampering effective preparations for the planting season. Persistent insecurity in much of Karamoja also continues to impact land preparation, as some households have lost ploughing oxen in raids and others consider it unsafe to deploy oxen to open up the land. Overall, opportunities for agricultural wage labor are currently at seasonally low levels during the dry season.
Following highly erratic rainfall between August and November – including episodes of dry spells in mid-September, mid-October, and late November that lasted up to 20 days in Kotido – and above-average temperatures since October, pasture and water resources are atypically low across Karamoja. According to NDVI data, vegetation conditions were significantly below average across most of the region as of late February. Seasonal rivers and most valley dams have dried up, with the few remaining serving both animals and humans. Due to high levels of water stress and pasture depletion, water rationing has been reported in Moroto, Napak, and neighboring Katakwi, where authorities have allocated cattle keepers three hours a day to use boreholes for watering their animals in order to reduce tensions within communities. Atypically high numbers of herders have also migrated with their livestock into the neighboring regions of Teso, Acholi, and Lango.
Due to scarce pasture and water resources, livestock body conditions and productivity have deteriorated. Additionally, livestock marketing activity continues to be disrupted by raids and cattle theft and reports of livestock foot-and-mouth disease incidences in Nakapiripirit and Napak (where quarantines are in place) and in Abim and Amudat (where some cases have been reported). Restrictions on livestock movement and marketing activity, below-average livestock body conditions, and in some cases reduced herd sizes are resulting in below-average income from livestock sales and livestock product sales.
Poor households in Karamoja typically supplement other sources of food and income by selling charcoal and firewood, particularly during the lean season when this is a major source of income. Recent restrictions to control the magnitude of environmental degradation have particularly affected the charcoal trade, with enforcement officials confiscating trucks loaded with charcoal along highways from Karamoja. However, as of a January 2023 field assessment conducted by FEWS NET, poor households continue to intensely engage in charcoal and firewood production and sales, despite challenges. While selling building poles and thatch grass is normally another source of income for poor households, it is becoming less viable due to frequent bushfires and widespread environmental degradation in Karamoja.
Despite high inflation affecting most goods and services, prices of charcoal have stagnated in most markets since 2020. This is likely attributable to impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown and increased insecurity in Karamoja which reduced demand from outside the region. From December 2022 to January 2023, charcoal prices declined by 45 and 46 percent, respectively, in Kotido and Napak and remained fairly stable in Kaabong, Nakapiripirit, and Moroto. Charcoal prices in January 2023 were 22 and 26 percent below those recorded at the same time last year in Kotido and Napak, respectively; similar to last year in Nakapiripirit and Moroto, and 6 percent higher in Kaabong. Despite mixed trends compared to last year, charcoal prices in January 2023 were 17 to 47 percent below the five-year average across markets. Meanwhile, prices of firewood were stable from December to January in Kotido and Moroto, but declined by 6 to 29 percent in Kaabong, Nakapiripirit, and Napak. Firewood prices in January 2023 also displayed mixed trends compared to the same time last year (ranging from 31 percent below last year in Napak to 92 percent above last year in Kotido) but were below average by 14 to 28 percent in all markets except for Kotido, where prices were 60 percent above average.
Income-earning from casual labor and other off-farm activities has also been limited since the COVID-19 lockdown period, with recovery hindered by the resurgence of conflict and insecurity. Normally, poor households commonly engage in labor associated with sand and gold mining, stone quarrying, and loading rocks on trucks throughout the year. These are already low-wage jobs, and increased competition for fewer available opportunities has placed additional downward pressure on wages. According to Farmgain Africa data, wages declined significantly around the middle of 2022 and have increased only marginally since then. In January 2023, casual labor wage rates were similar to the same time last year in Kaabong, Moroto, and Napak, but were 20 percent below last year in Nakapiripirit and Kotido. On average across these markets, wages in January were 14 percent higher than the five-year average, though this is lower than the food inflation rate over the same period. Wage rates in January were above average to some degree in all markets aside from Kotido, where wage rates were 14 percent below average.
Overall, poor households are generally earning less income from their typical sources compared to last year. At the same time, food prices are significantly elevated, with most poor households likely to be highly dependent on markets for food after exhausting food stocks atypically due to poor 2022 crop production. From December to January, staple sorghum prices declined by 7 to 27 percent in Moroto, Kotido, and Napak markets, driven by increased stocks from the harvest. However, prices were fairly stable in Kaabong and increased by 8 percent in Nakapiripirit, where supplies were more limited, likely following early depletion of stocks from the harvest. Despite the declines in some markets, sorghum prices in January were trending at levels 12 to 57 percent above the same time last year and 33 to 88 percent above the five-year average (except in Moroto, where prices were 22 percent below last year and similar to the five-year average), following three consecutive below-normal harvests since 2020. Driven primarily by elevated food prices but also by below-average wage rates and prices of firewood and charcoal in some markets, purchasing power as measured by the terms of trade is below average for most commodities and markets (Figure 8), meaning that households can obtain less sorghum for the same amount of engagement in an income-earning activity.
Source: FEWS NET
In response to high levels of need, food and nutrition assistance programming was scaled up in mid-2022, with higher levels of assistance sustained until around October when the situation was deemed more stable following the start of improvements with the harvest. Recently in February, WFP’s school feeding program recommenced with the start of the first school term. While this program encourages school enrollment and typically provides poor households with an important source of food, not all schools are covered because of funding gaps. WFP also continues to provide nutrition support through the Community Based Supplementary Feeding Program (CBSFP) in Karamoja. In 2022, 51,514 children aged 6 to 59 months were screened for malnutrition through the CBSFP, and 19,574 CBSFP beneficiaries received 73 MT of specialized nutritious foods across all Karamoja districts. A total 22,608 individuals also received various primary healthcare services (including malaria and TB testing, vitamin A supplementation, deworming, and other immunization services) across integrated outreach sites. Meanwhile, UNICEF supported Karamoja with the rehabilitation of 62 boreholes in the drought-affected districts of Moroto, Nabilatuk, Karenga, Kaabong, and Kotido. UNICEF also provided water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) supplies to 277 schools and 79 health facilities in Karamoja, benefitting 176,509 people, mostly children. Access to clean water, good sanitation and hygiene practices, and diseases all influence the nutritional status of children, in addition to food consumption.
The scale-up in food and nutrition assistance programming in the latter part of 2022 included an increase in screening for acute malnutrition. According to the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), 28,297 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were admitted for treatment throughout 2022, almost double the long-term average. Though the increase was partly due to the increase in screenings, the high number of children admitted reflects a severe malnutrition situation. Admissions peaked between May and September, a period when availability of food was at its lowest prior to the 2022 harvest. According to available assessment data, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) has been generally increasing since 2020, on average across Karamoja (Figure 9). In 2021, GAM prevalence as measured by weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) was greater than 10 percent (defined as “Serious” and in line with IPC Phase 3 according to IPC thresholds) for all districts except Abim, Karenga, and Nakapiripirit. Kaabong and Moroto continue to be worst affected, with GAM prevalence exceeding 15 percent (defined as “Critical” and in line with IPC Phase 4 according to IPC thresholds).
Due to poor crop production in 2022, many households harvested little or nothing. Others sold their available harvests to repay debts or purchase other needed food and non-food items following the prolonged lean season in 2022. As such, many poor households have already exhausted food stocks. The lean season started in January, around two months earlier than usual. Although households are expanding their engagement in producing charcoal, selling firewood, hunting for food, and gathering wild fruits and vegetables, these activities are being limited by the impacts of sustained insecurity, restrictions on charcoal burning and selling, destructive wild bush fires, and increased competition among poor households seeking food and income. Given limited available food and income from typical sources, households in Karamoja are already employing coping strategies typical of the lean season. Many households across Karamoja are borrowing food or money, relying on less-preferred food, and even reducing meal size and frequency. There are reports of individuals migrating to urban areas in search of casual labor opportunities, and there have even been reports of theft of food stocks from granaries, which is highly atypical and indicative of the desperate situation of some very poor households. Given highly eroded resilience following three consecutive below-average crop production seasons, many poor households are expected to be facing food consumption gaps or engaging in negative livelihood coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes. In many districts, the number facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes is expected to exceed 20 percent of the population.
Source: WFP FSNA Assessments
In addition to the national-level assumptions, the following assumptions apply to this area of concern:
- According to international forecasts, cumulative rainfall in Karamoja’s April to September 2023 unimodal rainy season will most likely be below average. Based on historical trends, rainfall distribution is also expected to be highly erratic, with frequent dry spells.
- Area cultivated in the 2023 main crop production season is likely to be below normal due to the reduced availability of oxen to plow land, restricted movement because of insecurity, and limited access to agricultural inputs. Agricultural inputs provided by Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) are typically delayed and/or inadequate to meet the needs of a cropping season.
- Pests and diseases – especially the African armyworm and the fall armyworm – typically cause some damage to crops and pasture in Karamoja. This year, the extent of crop damage is expected to be slightly more than normal due to households’ eroded ability to afford appropriate pesticides.
- Given expectations for cultivated area and rainfall, 2023 crop production is expected to be below average for a fourth consecutive season, with the harvest expected to start in August As such, availability of seasonal agricultural labor opportunities from April to September is expected to be less than normal.
- Pasture conditions and water resources are expected to improve around late April, following the start of the April to September rainy season, and reach normal levels around May. This will likely improve livestock body conditions and production, supporting increased access to food and income from livestock and livestock products over the projection period. However, benefits will be limited among some households who have below-average herd sizes.
- Ongoing insecurity (characterized by cattle thefts, destruction of property, armed confrontation with security forces, and loss of life) will likely continue to disrupt typical livelihood and income-earning activities, reducing households’ access to food and income from many typical sources.
- Conflict over pasture and water resources is expected to continue until conditions improve around May.
- Sporadic outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and associated quarantines are expected to persist throughout most of the February to March period, although the duration will depend on the speed of the vaccination response. It is likely that FMD cases in Nakapiripirit, Abim, Amudat, Napak, and Nabilatuk, will decline further given that the number of cases recorded in January and February significantly declined. Following this, market disruptions by FMD restrictions are expected to reduce, thereby improving income-earning from livestock sales.
- According to FEWS NET price projections, retail prices of staple sorghum grain in the Moroto reference market are expected to follow seasonal trends, increasing between February and May before decreasing again between June and September alongside increased supply from the bimodal harvest (around June) and the Karamoja harvest (around late August/early September). Prices are expected to trend 11 to 12 percent above prices recorded last year and the recent five-year average in the February to May period, although 14 to 33 percent lower than last year. In the June to September period, prices are expected to be above average but below last years’ levels given expectations for near-average 2023 first season bimodal production and market corrections after the record high prices recorded last year.
- Given projections for sustained above-average sorghum prices, terms of trade are expected to remain below average for most key income sources.
- Incidence of malaria (a leading cause of death among children under five) is expected to increase during the April to September rainy season, as is typical.
- School feeding programs are expected to continue providing one daily meal of maize, beans, vegetable oil, and salt to school children throughout the projection period. WFP aims to procure and provide school children with 1,480 MT of cereals, 300 MT of pulses, and 99 MT of vegetable oil in the 65-day school term.
- Food and nutrition assistance programming by humanitarian partners and government is expected to be scaled up in Karamoja as the lean season progresses through around August/September, similar to what occurred last year. However, needs are expected to continue at levels that exceed provided assistance, given inadequate resources.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
Through at least March, dry weather conditions are expected to drive more livestock migrations out of Karamoja in search of pasture and water. However, movement is likely to be hampered by insecurity along migration routes. With the onset of rains in April, pasture conditions are expected to gradually improve and peak around May, when improvements in livestock body conditions and livestock productivity are expected to increase access to food and income. However, sustained insecurity in Karamoja is likely to erode the benefits of improved livestock productivity over the projection period due to localized animal theft and market disruptions.
Most poor households are already highly dependent on markets for food, having exhausted limited food stocks from the 2022 harvest. Though food prices are expected to decline around June as supplies are boosted by the bimodal harvests, prices are expected to remain above average throughout the projection period. At the same time, poor households will continue to earn only below-average incomes from typical sources like wage labor, sales of charcoal and firewood, and mining, which will be insufficient to support access to food from markets. Given this and eroded coping capacity due to three consecutive years of below-average production, poor households are likely to increasingly engage in severe livelihood and food consumption-based coping strategies as the lean season progresses through August. For instance, many poor households are likely to sell productive assets and consume seed stocks due to desperation during the lean season, limiting their capacity to invest in livelihoods in the future. Very poor households are likely to continue to reduce meal sizes and frequency. Worst-affected households are likely to engage in begging or face wide food consumption gaps. Overall, more than 20 percent of the population in Karamoja is expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, and this number is expected to increase as the lean season progress through August. During this time, food safety net programs such as WFP’s longstanding school feeding program and the anticipated lean season response are expected to provide some support, though this is expected to be inadequate to prevent widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes at the area level due to limited funding and challenges in targeting, similar to last year.
In late August/September, food from the harvest will support improvements in food consumption, reducing the proportion of the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are expected to persist at the area level. Additionally, crop production is expected to be below average for a fourth consecutive season. Though this will limit improvements for some households who harvest little or nothing, the worst effects will be felt in the 2024 lean season as households exhaust stocks. Throughout the projection period, the prevalence of acute malnutrition is expected to be similar to or higher than last year, at levels considered “Serious” (10-15%) in most districts, driven by a combination of inadequate food intake, sanitation and health factors, and high seasonal disease prevalence.
Events that Might Change the Outlook
|Event||Impact on Food Security Outcomes|
|Average to above-average rainfall in the 2023 season||Crop production would likely be better than anticipated, leading to better availability of agricultural labor opportunities and greater improvements in food availability with the harvest in August/September. However, crop production would likely still be below average due to reduced access to inputs and impacts of insecurity.|
|Improved security situation||This would allow for the resumption of normal movement within the region, improving access to agricultural land and pastures, and restoring normal trade activity. This would also allow for the beginning of recovery of other normal livelihoods, improving household access to food and income. However, full recovery will be slowed by below-average purchasing power and ability to invest in livelihoods among Karamoja households.|
|Lean season response not funded||If the lean season response plan is not implemented, more households would face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse through the scenario period. Area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes would likely persist at the area level.|
Refugee settlements hosting refugees from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Limited access to income-generating activities, atypically high market prices, and a surge in new refugee arrivals over the last six months – compounded by poor crop production affecting some refugees – has increasingly strained refugee households’ limited available resources. Consequently, refugees remain highly dependent on humanitarian food assistance. However, the continued underfunding of the refugee response has resulted in food assistance failing to meet the basic food needs of many refugee households, particularly in northern settlements.
As of February 2023, Uganda hosted 1,521,424 refugees and asylum seekers (Figure 10), primarily from South Sudan (57 percent) and DRC (32 percent). Uganda receives new refugees daily, and the reception and transit centers are extremely overstretched, some between 70 to 80 percent above capacity. In 2022, 146,759 new arrivals (33 percent from South Sudan and 67 percent from DRC) were registered, and there have been nearly 15,000 new arrivals in January and February 2023. Intensified fighting between the Congolese Army (FARDC) and the Movement Mars 23 (M23) in North Kivu and armed militia attacks on civilians in Ituri Province have driven surges in mass population displacement from the DRC into Uganda over the last year. Meanwhile, ongoing endemic violence and the impacts of repeated climatic shocks in South Sudan continue to drive around 4,000 new arrivals into Uganda monthly. According to data released by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR, 80 percent of Uganda’s refugees are women and children (under 18).
While an estimated 40 percent of refugee households have access to small plots of land for cultivation, weather hazards during the last four cultivation seasons – especially below-average rainfall, particularly in the northern settlements, but also some localized flooding – have resulted in below-normal crop yields for many refugees, especially in northern settlements. Most recently, 2022 second season harvests provided only minimal support to affected households, with food stocks lasting less than a month and largely exhausted in January 2023. Because of the variable September to December 2022 rainfall performance, refugees in southwestern settlements had a relatively better harvest than those in the north, though crop performance was below average in localized areas of the southwest as well.
Given limited livelihood opportunities, refugees are highly reliant on markets to meet their food needs. However, staple food prices have remained atypically high in the post-harvest period, well above prices recorded last year and five-year average levels. WFP’s market monitoring data indicates that staple cereal prices in refugee settlements in December 2022 were roughly 50 percent above the five-year average. In Rhino Camp, the price of one kilogram of maize in January 2023 was 80 percent higher than the same time last year. It should be noted that market prices vary significantly across refugee settlements, primarily based on distance and access to source markets, with high transport costs driving up prices in northern markets. In January 2023, one kilogram of maize cost 2,040 UGX in Palabek in the north, 70 percent higher than the price in Kayaka II market (1,192 UGX) in the southwest.
Humanitarian food assistance remains a primary food source for most refugees living in settlements, with nearly 95 percent of households eligible for food assistance. While, several years ago, most refugee households received monthly assistance benefits sufficient to meet 70-100 percent of their minimum energy requirements, reductions have occurred at several points in time over the years due to inadequate funding. Notably, in November 2021, most refugees in southwestern settlements (Group 3) experienced reductions in rations from around 60 percent to 40 percent of minimum energy requirements; most refugees in northwestern settlements (Group 1) experienced slight increases in rations from 60 to 70 percent rations; and most refugees in central-northern settlements (Group 2) continued receiving 60 percent rations.1 More recently, in late 2022, in-kind rations were further reduced. Since December 2022, beneficiaries who receive in-kind assistance in southwestern (Group 3), northwestern (Group 1), and central-northern (Group 2) settlements have been receiving only 41 percent, 40 percent, and 34 percent rations, respectively. Meanwhile, due to funding restrictions, the value of CBT assistance has not been increased to sufficiently compensate for inflation. As of February 2023, the value of CBT assistance remains less than the value of in-kind assistance in the northwest (Group 1) and central-northern (Group 2) settlements, though is higher in southwestern settlements (Group 3), according to data and information from WFP. Calculations done by FEWS NET using this data and information show that most beneficiaries of CBT assistance in northwestern (Group 1), central-northern (Group 2), and southwestern (Group 3) settlements received 32 percent, 27 percent, and 62 percent rations, respectively.
Given comparatively higher levels of need and poor market access, refugees in northwestern and central-northern settlements receive mostly in-kind assistance, while refugees in southwestern settlements receive mostly cash transfers. Throughout 2022, 62 percent of South Sudanese beneficiaries (largely in northwestern and central-northern settlements) were reached with in-kind assistance, while 38 percent were reached with CBT, according to WFP reporting. Meanwhile, 19 percent of Congolese refugees (largely in southwestern settlements) were reached with in-kind assistance, while 79 percent were reached with CBT. WFP has continued to shift toward increasing the proportion of assistance beneficiaries reached with cash. In January, WFP reported providing in-kind food assistance to nearly 559,000 beneficiaries (about 42 percent of all beneficiaries) and CBT to around 774,000 beneficiaries (about 58 percent of all beneficiaries).
In 2023, WFP announced that implementation of the main phase of a shift to needs-based targeting for humanitarian food assistance would occur in the first quarter of 2023. In the new phase, which is to be implemented in the first quarter of 2023, refugee households assessed to be the least vulnerable will receive 40 percent rations or be removed from beneficiary lists; refugees considered moderately vulnerable will receive 60 percent rations; and refugees considered most vulnerable – including new arrivals – will receive 70 percent rations. Vulnerability will be determined based on results of assessments conducted by WFP in earlier phases of the plan. However, information regarding the number and location of beneficiaries in each category is not available.
Given inadequate humanitarian funding, other critical humanitarian services aimed at mitigating acute food insecurity and malnutrition – including livelihoods assistance, rations for maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN) programs, support for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions, and the provision of health services – have also been reduced over time. For instance, in December 2022, only 51 percent of beneficiaries targeted for livelihood support received assistance due to lack of funding. This is compounded by the high strain of new arrivals on existing humanitarian infrastructure, the increasing competition for limited arable land and labor opportunities, and the decreasing household purchasing power.
Consecutive poor cultivation seasons and reductions in humanitarian assistance rations over the years have driven many refugees to increasingly rely on off-farm livelihoods, including petty trade, small businesses, boda boda transportation, mining, and carpentry. However, with high competition for limited income-generating opportunities and above-average market prices, refugees are increasingly engaging in food-based and livelihood coping strategies. According to the May 2022 FSNA survey data, 21 percent of households reported engaging in livelihood coping strategies indicative of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes (including selling household assets, borrowing money, and spending savings), and 19 percent reported engaging in livelihood coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes (such as selling productive assets and reducing expenditures on hygiene, health, or education). Further declines in humanitarian food assistance rations since December 2022 are likely driving further increases in engagement in such strategies.
From October to December 2022, water access remained stable for refugee settlements, according to UNHCR. South Sudanese refugees’ access to water was over 15 liters of water per person per day (lpd), which is considered adequate according to Sphere guidance. However, Congolese refugees’ access to water was 7.5-15 lpd, considered inadequate to meet food consumption requirements for a diet of acceptable quantity and quality. Coverage with sanitation facilities (pit latrines) remained relatively consistent at 68 percent on average across all refugee settlements. However, the rate of construction of new sanitation facilities has struggled to match the growing demand in the southwest given the spike in refugee arrivals from the DRC in 2022.
Between 2020 and 2022, the prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) increased across refugee settlements, indicative of the impacts of reduce ration sizes and limited coping capacity. As reported by UNHCR and OPM, between October to December 2022, GAM prevalence across all refugee settlements was 7.5 percent, with a higher prevalence among South Sudanese refugees (8.2 percent) than among Congolese refugees (6.7 percent). These levels are within the range considered “Alert” level (5-9.9%) and in line with Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes according to IPC thresholds. The under-five mortality rates among refugees remained at low levels considered “Acceptable,” likely attributable to the presence of health workers and treatments available for refugees. However, in January 2023, admissions for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the refugee-hosting districts were higher than in 2020-2022. In January, WFP reported providing nutrition support to 56,572 children and pregnant and lactating mothers under the maternal child health and nutrition (MCHN) program and targeted supplementary feeding program (TSFP).
Food availability and access from typical sources remains low among refugee households due to limited income-earning opportunities, above-average market prices and, for some, poor consecutive harvests. This, in conjunction with the declining humanitarian food assistance rations and the continued influx of new arrivals is driving an increasing number of households to face gaps in their ability to meet all food and essential non-food needs. Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are expected at the area level, with ongoing humanitarian assistance preventing worse outcomes. However, many households are increasingly relying on negative livelihood coping strategies or facing food consumption gaps. Consequently, many worst-affected households are likely experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes, particularly in the northern settlements. Household survey data is urgently needed to understand the size of the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes in individual refugee settlements.
In addition to the national-level assumptions, the following assumptions apply to this area of concern:
- As is the case at the national level, first-season crop production is expected to be near normal.
- Given expectations for continued conflict in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the DRC and South Sudan, new refugees are expected to continue arriving in Uganda throughout the projection period, with significant week-to-week volatility in arrival rates expected. This is expected to constrain the already inadequate funding for humanitarian food assistance.
- Given WFP’s imminent transition to needs-based targeting in the first quarter of 2023, many refugee households are expected to see adjustments in ration sizes and some will be removed from beneficiary lists, based on the categories described above. Across settlements, households assessed to be least vulnerable will be removed from beneficiary lists. Among those deemed relatively more vulnerable, households in northern settlements are likely to see continuation of current ration sizes (of 40 percent) or increases (to 40-70 percent). Among those relatively more vulnerable refugees living in southwestern settlements, many receiving cash transfers equivalent to around 60 percent rations will likely see their assistance reduced, while those receiving in-kind rations of 41 percent will see continuation of current ration sizes (at 40 percent) or increases (to 60-70 percent).
- Given expectations for arrivals of new refugees and limited funding for the response, the provision of health, nutrition, and WASH services is expected to remain overstretched and inadequate to meet the level of need.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
Throughout the scenario period, most households are expected to continue relying largely on humanitarian assistance and market purchases to access food. However, as WFP transitions to needs-based targeting, many refugee households will experience adjustments in their ration sizes. Though WFP plans to reduce rations only for the more vulnerable households, theoretically mitigating negative impacts on food security, many refugees are expected to be unable to fully compensate for ration reductions given limited income-earning opportunities and above-average prices. Households who can still do so will seek to increasingly engage in livelihood coping strategies such as borrowing money and selling household assets, while many poor households will be forced to withdraw children from school, reduce expenditures on hygiene, health, or education, or migrate to urban areas for labor opportunities. In May/June, refugee households who engage in cultivation are expected to see minimal increases in food availability following the first season harvest, and some price declines are expected. However, food stocks will likely be exhausted shortly (around 1-1.5 months) after the harvest and, overall, the number of refugee households who are unable to meet all food needs is expected to increase throughout the projection period as already limited resources and coping capacity are further exhausted. Though Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level, it is possible that the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes surpasses 20 percent of the population in some settlements. Household survey data is urgently needed to support additional analysis.
Throughout the projection period, prevalence of acute malnutrition will likely slightly increase as a growing number of households sustain food consumption gaps. GAM prevalence is likely to slightly deteriorate from “Acceptable” (<5%) to “Alert” (5-9.9%) levels (in line with IPC Phase 1 and IPC Phase 2, respectively) in some settlements, and deteriorate from “Alert” (5-9.9%) to “Serious” (10-14.9%) levels (in line with IPC Phase 3) in others. Levels in line with “Serious” are expected in some northwestern settlements that typically record a higher GAM prevalence.
Events that Might Change the Outlook
|Area||Event||Impact on Food Security Outcomes|
|Refugee settlements||Minimal provision of humanitarian food assistance||A significant reduction in rations or the total absence of humanitarian food assistance would likely result in widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, with many worst-affected households facing wide consumption gaps and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes. Malnutrition prevalence would likely increase beyond what is already anticipated if these outcomes are sustained.|
Recommended citation: FEWS NET. UGANDA Food Security Outlook February to September 2023: Atypically high food prices to sustain acute food insecurity among vulnerable market-reliant households.
Since November 2021, refugees in Bidibidi, Imvepi, Lobule, Palorinya, and Rhino Camp received 70 percent rations, and those in Adjumani, Kiryandongo, and Palabek received 60 percent rations, while refugees in Kyaka II, Kyangwali, Nakivale, Oruchinga, and Rwamwanja received 40 percent rations.
To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.