26 Jul Update on Food Shortage 2017
2016 was a tough year in Rwanda and while the acute food shortages have largely passed, with government distribution of food reserves plugging the gaps, there is still a serious hangover effect.
While the food shortages are essentially over. The numbers on the streets remain high – we need to respond and in order to do that we need funds. Numbers on the streets in Kayonza District are over double normal. Streets Ahead Rwanda and SACCA estimates around 200 street living children in Kayonza District currently, of which 50 – 60 should be admitted into the centres. This compares to around 80 on the streets in “normal” times, and a ‘waiting list’ of typically around 20.
Every day a child spends on the street is another day at risk of exploitation, exposure to narcotics and an increase in the likelihood of them not seeing the following day. This is unacceptable.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring: colored represents the areas of food insecurity concern.
According to The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), which includes team members from NASA and the US Department of Agriculture among others:
“Minimal acute food insecurity is expected to persist through September 2017, among poor households in most areas of Rwanda, following ongoing harvests. Reduced household food access is likely to lead to be stressed in Kirehe, Gatsibo, and Kayonza districts during the April to May lean season.”
In good news for the Eastern region, Tanzania is recovering from its own harvest problems which should help Kayonza as there will now dbe competition for Kigali maize and bean which remains priced at 19% and 14% higher than during January last year: underlining overall below-normal production.
According to FEWS NET, higher than average staple food prices, coupled with reduced regional supply, are likely to translate to sustained high prices that are expected to constrain food access for poor households.