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Press Statement: Season B labor opportunities and Season A harvests support food access and availability in Rwanda (30.03.2016)

Rwanda Mountain Farm

Poor households are currently engaging in Season B agricultural labor, including land preparation and planting. It is expected the April to May lean season will be mild given average to above­ average Season A harvests as the ongoing El Niño contributed to favourable cropping conditions. With adequate household stocks and typical incomeearning opportunities, most poor households are expected to remain in None (IPC Phase 1) until Season B harvesting begins in May.

However, Season A harvests were below average for the third consecutive season in Kayonza, Kirehe, and Nyagatare Districts of Eastern Semi­Arid Agropastoral livelihood zone. As a result, many households are atypically dependent on food market purchases. Although agricultural labor income supported food access in February and March, labor opportunities will seasonally decline in April, reducing purchasing capacity. An increasing number of poor households are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the April to May lean season.

As of March 29, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that Rwanda is hosting 75,700 refugees from Burundi, with nearly 98 percent in Mahama and Kigali camps. Some refugees continue to seek labor opportunities in areas surrounding the camps, contributing to a reduction in labor wages and inflationary trends in some areas. Refugee populations remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!), but only with continued humanitarian assistance.

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