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Overall, below-average rainfall in the northern bimodal and central transition areas has resulted in significant crop loss, with estimates up to more than half of the Vuli crop. Cumulative Vuli rains in northeastern Tanzania, including Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Pwani, were only 30 to 65 percent of average through the first dekad in January. Similar poor rains in Geita, Dodoma, Kagera, Kigoma, Morogoro, Mwanza, and Shinyanga have resulted in some maize crop wilting at the tasseling stage, and below-average cumulative Msimu rainfall is expected through April despite some enhanced rainfall in the near-term.
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity is likely to persist through May in the northeast, northwest, and central transition areas. Poor households in the northwest and central transition areas are faced with declining access to food and income, as labor opportunities and availability of early maturing crops are limited. Poor households are likely to turn to markets earlier than normal and opt for less preferred foods, such as cassava. Food prices are atypically high across markets. December maize prices in Dodoma were 40 percent higher than last year and had increased 20 percent from just November.
As of January 22, there were approximately 279,500 refugees in Kagera and Kigoma regions. The influx of refugees from Burundi is continuing at an average of about 10,000 people per month, bringing the total to about 217,500 from Burundi since April 2015. WFP food rations are anticipated to reduce by 50 percent in February, and a full pipeline break is set to occur in March, precipitating a deterioration in acute food insecurity to Crisis (IPC Phase 3), starting from March onward.
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.