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Early start of first season rains in February; Erratic rainfall distribution in March

  • Key Message Update
  • Uganda
  • March 2017
Early start of first season rains in February; Erratic rainfall distribution in March

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In bimodal areas, the retail price of maize and sorghum increased between 10 and 20 percent in most markets between January and February, due to declining stocks. Prices remain nearly 30 percent above average, and household purchasing capacity is lower than is typical in March. Poor households in Teso, Busoga, and east-central Uganda are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until the arrival of the next harvest in July/August. 

    • First season rainfall in bimodal areas began in February, a month earlier than usual, and rainfall amounts were 25-100 mm above average. Rainfall in March was erratically distributed, but total amounts were average. Land preparation and planting for the first season started earlier than usual and some households have harvested quick-maturing vegetables. Many poor households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to lower than normal food access, but the consumption of these vegetables is improving food security faster than previously expected. 

    • In Karamoja, the price of sorghum and maize increased 10-20 percent between January and February in all markets except Abim and Kotido, due to declining market stocks. As a result of rising staple food prices and stable firewood/charcoal prices, firewood/charcoal-to-cereal terms of trade further declined. Although a seasonal decline in purchasing capacity is typical during the March-June lean season, terms of trade are even lower than is typical during the lean season. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in Moroto and Napak.

    • As of March 15, 2017, 1,495,000 South Sudanese refugees are residing in Uganda, over 25,000 of whom arrived in the first half of March. Newly arrived refugees are currently receiving a full ration through WFP, although due to funding shortfalls, assistance at current levels is only guaranteed through April. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected among newly-arrived refugees between May and September 2017, in the absence of humanitarian assistance. 

    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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