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Maize prices rising in the southeast as a result of the regional deficit

  • Key Message Update
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • September 2019
Maize prices rising in the southeast as a result of the regional deficit

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Since mid-August 2019, the former province of Katanga has experienced a significant increase in the price of maize flour following the restriction of imports from Zambia, on which the region normally depends for almost 70 percent of their maize needs. The price of a bag of maize flour almost doubled in September, with a variation of 125 percent. This alarming situation affects thousands of households who will have very limited access to this staple food. 

    • The ongoing cycle of violence in Ituri could slow the return of displaced households during this crucial planting period for agricultural activities, particularly in the territories of Djugu and Irumu. By the end of the season, harvests are expected to be well below average, leading to a deterioration in household food consumption in this area, which has seen nearly 360,000 people displaced since May 2019.

    • The presence of some 45,000 South Sudanese refugees, (nearly 9,000 households in Biringi, Merry and Doruma), invested in agriculture with the support of UNHCR and partners in the territories of Aru and Faradje, respectively in Ituri and Haut-Uele, will in the medium term constitute a major asset in providing this area with staple foods, particularly rice, beans, cassava and maize. It is expected that there will be atypically high availability in this deficit area due to this presence.

    • The epidemiological situation of the Ebola Virus disease remains worrying. As of 23 September 2019, a total of 3,168 registered cases had been reported at the national level. However, since the community's effective involvement in response activities, the epidemic seems to have been under control in the epicentric areas of Beni and Butembo. The city of Goma has not seen any new cases for more than two months. This status is reassuring for neighboring countries that have reduced their threats of border closures, which would have had serious consequences on food security in eastern DRC.

    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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