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Areas affected by flooding and landslides face deteriorating food security as food prices rise

  • Key Message Update
  • Uganda
  • January 2020
Areas affected by flooding and landslides face deteriorating food security as food prices rise

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Heavy rainfall since late October has led to flooding and landslides that have destroyed homes, damaged infrastructure, and disrupted livelihoods in many eastern and western areas including Bulambuli, Bududa, Sironko, Manafwa, Soroti, Bukedea, Butaleja, Katakwi, Kumi, Ntoroko, and Bundibugyo districts. Many households in affected areas experienced severe crop damage, with little or no harvest available for own-consumption and sale. With food prices atypically high and food assistance inadequate, many households are reducing quantity and frequency of meals, with some who have lost all assets facing widening consumption gaps. In worst affected Bundibugyo district, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are widespread, with deteriorating food security expected through May.

    • Atypically heavy rainfall since December has eased as of mid-January throughout most of the country. In bimodal areas, above-average rainfall has generally benefited perennial crops like bananas, coffee, tea, and sugarcane. However, production of crops sensitive to heavy rainfall including beans, groundnuts, and tubers is expected to be below average. Atypical rainfall in January has disrupted drying and post-harvest activities, leading to delays in transporting food to markets and significant losses for cereals, legumes, and cassava/sweet potato chips. As a result, household food stocks are expected to be below average, with below-average production for the second bimodal season expected overall.

    • Below-average supply and elevated transport costs due to deterioration of rural roads have resulted in atypical food price increases between November and December. Additional supplies are expected to bolster market stocks by February, though prices will likely remain significantly above average levels.  Consequetly, poor households in flood- and landslide-affected areas are facing constrained access to food and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or worse outcomes, though Minimal (IPC Phase 1) area-level outcomes are expected in most areas. In Karamoja, staple food prices and above-average household food stocks are supporting Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. However, potential migration of locusts into the Karamoja region and neighboring bimodal areas poses a threat to March-June farming activities and overall production in affected areas.

    • Overall, the arrival rate of refugees from South Sudan and the DRC has been declining since May 2019. According to UNHCR/OPM a total of 31,663 refugees arrived from South Sudan and 57,242 arrived from the DRC throughout 2019 – below the refugee response plan estimate. As of December 31, 2019, Uganda hosted a total 1,381,122 refugees, over 95 percent of whom are entitled to humanitarian food assistance. However, a rapid increase in arrivals from the DRC ocurred in January, with over 1,400 recorded by UNHCR. Among these populations, assistance is supporting Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. Due to funding shortfalls, WFP currently anticipates ration cuts after March. In the absence of planned and funded assistance and potential ration cuts, deterioration to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected.

    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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