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High staple food prices limit food access in Karamoja

  • Key Message Update
  • Uganda
  • January 2019
High staple food prices limit food access in Karamoja

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Karamoja, declining purchasing power is limiting food access and driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In bimodal Uganda, slightly below-average second season harvests and early first season agricultural labor opportunities are sustaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes among most poor households. Atypical rainfall during the January dry season has benefitted late-planted cereals and vegetables in parts of western and southern Uganda, as well as perennial bananas, tea, coffee, and sugarcane. However, above-average Land Surface Temperatures (LST) have led to deterioration in rangeland resources in eastern Uganda’s cattle corridor districts.

    • Retail staple food prices remain significantly below the five-year and 2017 averages across most of Uganda due to the availability of second season harvests and traders’ release of first season stocks. However, sorghum prices in Karamoja’s Kotido, Kaabong, and Nakapiripirit districts ranged from 19 to 83 percent above the 2017 average in December. In addition, prices were 22 percent above the five-year average in Kaabong. As a result, the terms of trade for sorghum are below both the five-year and 2017 averages in Kotido and Kaabong, restricting access to food for poor households.

    • According to UNHCR, a total of 3,637 persons from the DRC, South Sudan, and Burundi arrived in Uganda in December, driven by fear of post-election violence, conflict and insecurity, or the desire for family reunification. This increased the total number of refugees and asylum seekers hosted by Uganda to 1,190,922 at the end of 2018. WFP expects to maintain current food rations at planned levels through March. Therefore, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are likely to continue through March, but outcomes would deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in April should funding for humanitarian food assistance not be secured.

    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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