The mission noted an improvement in security conditions which allowed some of the population in regroupment and displacement camps to return to their farms during the second half of 1997. Thus the number of people in camps fell by 14 percent between June 1997 and January 1998 from 665 374 to 572 462, representing 9 percent of the total population in February 1998. This population movement, together with repatriation from outside the country, led to an increase in planted areas in 1998A season.
The 1998 first season started with adverse weather conditions, marked by a prolonged dry spell. The rains arrived a month late in most of the country (in mid-October) and were unusually heavy, causing flooding in marshlands, and inducing heavy pest infestation of some crops, reducing yields.
The mission forecasts the 1998A season total food production at 1 142 000 tonnes, a decline of 2 percent on 1997A season production, which was itself below average. The greatest falls were in pulses and cereals (16 and 13 percent respectively). In comparison with the average of season A production between 1988 and 1993, the 1998 first season production is 20 percent lower.
Forecasting the 1998 B and C seasons with any degree of accuracy is difficult at this early stage. However, considering on the one hand an increase in planted areas, and on the other a probable decline in yields as a result of shortages of fertilizer and quality seed, the 1998B season production is projected to remain at last yearís level. By contrast, if weather conditions are normal, season C production should show a marked increase against the very low 1997 level, which was affected by flooding at harvest time.
On this basis, the mission provisionally projects total food production for 1998 at 3 587 000 tonnes, against the revised 1997 estimate of 3 183 000 tonnes, or an increase of 13 percent. However, this level of production could still be 9 percent below the 1988-1993 average.
With a mid-1998 population estimate of 6 283 700, and an apparent per caput consumption derived from the reduced quantities available between 1994 and 1996, import requirements in 1998 are estimated at 139 000 tonnes of cereal equivalent. Commercial imports are estimated at 54 000 tonnes, leaving a deficit of 85 000 tonnes of cereals and pulses. Emergency food aid requirements for the most severely affected population groups in 1998 are estimated at some 60 000 tonnes of cereals and pulses. The uncovered deficit is therefore in the order of 25 000 tonnes.
The outflow of unknown quantities of foodstuffs to neighbouring countries
(especially Rwanda) as well as the loss of a large part of 1997C season
crops due to floods, have led to a great pressure on food availability.
Food prices rose from the second half of 1997 up to the end of January
1998, when they started to decline with the start of the bean harvest.
However, they remain higher than in the same period last year due to this
seasonís reduced output. The high level of prices will further restrict
access to food for large sections of the population with insufficient resources,
aggravating their nutritional and health status in the coming months.
Although security is still precarious in some parts of the country,
it has improved considerably during the current 1998A season. This has
allowed the authorities to close a number of regroupment camps in Bubanza,
Muramvy and Karuzi Provinces. People have returned to their farms, and
most of them have been able to cultivate crops during the 1998A season,
with the assistance of humanitarian organizations. The number of people
living in camps has decreased by 14 percent since June 1997. However, out
of a total estimated population of 6 200 000 in January 1998, 572 462 displaced
people - or 9 percent of the total population - are still living in 250
camps. Table 1 below gives a break-down of this affected population by
in the sites
|% of total
|Bubanza||280 152||68||152 616||54|
|Bujumbura M.||311 037||12||20 206||6|
|Bujumbura R.||384 128||-||37 198||10|
|Bururi||438 811||-||64 426||15|
|Cibitoke||366 129||15||79 329||22|
|Gitega||648 011||17||22 004||3|
|Karuzi||346 508||14||38 563||11|
|Kayanza||509 588||11||17 211||3|
|Kirundo||464 684||17||27 852||6|
|Makamba||264 103||23||36 100||14|
|Muramvya||505 679||20||28 505||6|
|Muyinga||442 832||25||26 636||6|
|Ngozi||555 696||11||17 195||3|
|Rutana||227 430||8||2 494||1|
|Ruyigi||291 881||9||2 127||1|
|TOTAL||6 200 000||250||572 462||9|
Economically, the April 1997 decision of the Regional Sanctions Co-ordination Committee (RSCC) to ease economic sanctions allowed renewed activity in some economic sectors, particularly trade. According to the December 1997 DHA report on the sanctions, trade with the sub-region is steadily recovering and the embargoís effect on the domestic market is abating. The differences in prices between the countries have also encouraged an outflow of some foodstuffs. In particular, a considerable movement of food towards Rwanda has been observed in recent months, especially cassava flour, sugar and beans. On the other hand, unknown quantities are coming in from Tanzania.
To combat the situation of relatively tight supplies, the government took measures in January 1998 to limit exports, which now require prior authorization. In order to counter the food deficit and ensure better access to food, the government also decided to suspend duties and taxes on rice, maize and bean imports, and adopted an agricultural rehabilitation plan, to run until the year 2000, with the aim of achieving sustainable food security in the country.
With regard to other sectors, the production of cash crops such as coffee,
tea and cotton will be higher than last year, with projected increases
of 35, 25 and 53 percent respectively. This should lead to greater availability
of foreign currency for the country, as well as a rise in incomes of farmers.
The 1998A season has seen a considerable increase in planted areas compared with the 1997A season, owing to the return home of part of the population from camps. As security has been maintained in a large part of the country, about 100 000 people living in regroupment camps and 35 689 returnees, mostly from Tanzania, have been able to return home and farm their plots. Even in Cibitoke, Bubanza and Bujumbura-Rural Provinces, where unrest still continues, most of the people have had access to their farms.
However, this increase in planted area was restricted by the poor availability of inputs and a monthís delay in the onset of the rains. Donations of seed and hoes by humanitarian organizations benefited only the population living in camps and with access to land who were able to plant a crop this season. The quantities distributed for 1998A season were 1 441 tonnes of bean seed, 1 433 kg of vegetable seed and 129 260 hoes.
The rainy season began one month late, in mid-October instead of September, but throughout the whole season rainfall was far in excess of normal in all regions of the country, except Imbo and Mumirwa. These heavy rains were also responsible for the decline in yields of 1997C season crops, which were harvested in September/October. Production of that season was estimated to be well below average due to floods at harvest time.
The combined effects of excessive rainfall and the proliferation of diseases during the 1998A season led to lower yields for some crops. The widespread shortage of pesticides due to the embargo exacerbated the situation, especially in the case of potatoes. The bean, potato and maize crops suffered the most significant decreases in yields, whereas tubers (cassava, sweet potato and yam) and bananas benefited from the abundant precipitation. These rains were also beneficial for the Bugesera and Moso regions, which had suffered a prolonged dry spell in 1997A season.
3.1.3 1998A season production
Although the security situation in 1998A season was better than in 1997A
season, the effects of adverse weather conditions prevented an increase
in production. Total food production shows a 2 percent fall on the revised
estimate for 1997A season, and a 20 percent decrease on the pre-crisis
A season average (1988-1993). With the exception of root and tuber crops
which rose by 4 percent, all other crops suffered declines: 16 percent
for pulses, 13 percent for cereals, and 1 percent for bananas.
|Cereals||138||90||103||- 13||- 35|
|Pulses||181||87||104||- 16||- 52|
|Roots and tubers||542||488||471||+ 4||- 10|
|Bananas and plantains||569||477||482||- 1||- 16|
|TOTAL||1 430||1 142||1 160||- 2||- 20|
The 1998B season will see an increase in planted area following the return home of population from regroupment camps and from outside the country. On the other hand, yields are likely to suffer from a reduction in the availability of fertilizer and quality seed. Taking account of these factors, and assuming unchanged security conditions and favourable weather during the first half of the year, 1998B season production should be similar to that of the 1997B season (1 775 000 tonnes).
The output of the C season represents some 17 percent of the annual
food production, and generally provides the seed for the A season. Assuming
normal rainfall during 1998C season, production should recover from the
low level of 1997, which was well below the pre-crisis average. The mission
forecasts C season food production at about 670 000 tonnes, which would
be 3 percent below normal.
|Season||Average production||Prod. 1997||Production 1998||98 as % of average||98 as % of 1997|
|Commodity||1988 - 1993||98A||98B*||98C*||Total||88 - 93|
|Roots and tubers||1 510||1 296||488||744||227||1 459||97||113|
|Bananas and plantains||1 707||1 297||477||662||402||1 541||90||119|
|TOTAL||3 943||3 183||1 142||1 775||670||3 587||91||113|
|Cibitoke||Bubanza||Kayanza||Ngozi||Kirundo||Muyinga||Karuzi||Gitega||Muramvya||Bururi||Makamba||Rutana||Ruyigi||Cankuso||Buj Rurale||Total||% of 1997A|
|Maize||4 396||2 612||8 264||10 771||2 712||4 838||2 726||8 188||14 987||16 039||8 063||1 125||277||1 164||3 334||89 496||88|
|Beans||2 472||1 859||10 209||12 563||3 337||5 522||5 627||9 773||4 530||3 561||4 068||2 987||3 877||4 069||1 229||75 683||82|
|Peas||793||113||2 364||2 204||1 004||601||1 004||2 392||272||170||85||9||240||11 251||92|
|Bananas||39 650||35 056||41 050||57 293||35 180||69 526||13 370||33 578||14 522||21 885||11 007||17 495||28 354||12 715||45 954||476 635||99|
|Potatoes||1 526||3 221||144||603||3 042||1 030||775||230||249||10 820||77|
|Sweet potatoes||1 069||1 079||29 739||42 343||19 442||11 825||19 106||49 373||32 305||7 773||2 027||11 772||9 735||8 751||3 681||250 020||107|
|Taro||2 870||4 235||822||2 110||1 588||1 353||1 278||3 355||2 086||1 141||12 348||774||442||484||3 672||38 558||89|
|Cassava||17 945||18 841||12 500||14 980||10 810||13 761||9 545||26 330||9 945||11 770||8 710||6 119||4 979||2 759||15 900||184 894||104|
|Yams||877||2 209||176||98||11||603||3 974||100|
|TOTAL||69 195||63 795||106 696||145 485||74 073||107 426||53 677||135 801||81 901||63 545||47 181||40 522||47 664||30 387||74 613||1 141 961||98|
Food prices have increased since January 1997 because of high demand, notably in Bujumbura.
The food and nutritional situation is worrying, particularly in the
communes of Musigati, Rugazi and Bubanza, and for the people who have recently
returned from the forest areas. The number of reported malnutrition cases
has been increasing since July, which is also a result of the populationís
improved access to nutritional centres.
The planted area during this season has been very close to the reduced level of 1997A. There has been a serious shortage of potato seed and fertilizer, while the high price of dithane (3 200 FBu/Kg) has discouraged its use. As elsewhere, the rains were late and then excessive, leading to a high incidence of diseases, particularly potato bacterial disease and blight. The harvest prospects are good for maize and pea in Mugamba and for beans in Mumirwa, but less favourable for potatoes.
Market prices remain higher than in 1997A season.
The state of health and nutrition declined during the last quarter of
1997, especially in the communes of Muhuta, Bugarama, Mubimbi and Kanyosha.
Severe acute malnutrition, with oedemas associated with diarrhoeal diseases,
has caused high levels of mortality.
Humanitarian agencies have provided the affected populations with bean and vegetable seeds and hoes. There has been a fall in potato planting as compared to 1997A season because of a shortage of potato seeds. The first rains were a month late and then extremely heavy, affecting potato, maize and bean yields. Harvest prospects for 1998A are unfavourable and production is projected to be some 12 percent below 1997A.
Prices have escalated since January 1997, with beans selling at 320 FBu/kg in January 1998 against 250 FBu in January 1997, and an average banana bunch costing 1000 FBu against 300 Fbu.
The state of health and nutrition among the resettled and displaced
populations is a cause for concern.
Agricultural inputs were made available for 1998A season and NGO support in seed propagation (potato) helped raise the planted area. The late and then excessive rains have damaged the 1998A crops, particularly the bean crop.
Trans-border trade with Tanzania has caused some food prices (bananas) to rise.
The provincial medical authorities consider the state of health and
nutrition to be normal, though there are some localized cases of malnutrition.
The restored security in much of the province coupled with the seeds and farm implements distributed to the affected populations by the humanitarian agencies have resulted in a slight increase in food production during the 1998A season.
There has been a general improvement in the nutritional situation in
the past months following the improvement of security, access to seeds
and attendance at Nutrition Centres.
The affected populations were provided with bean and vegetable seeds
and farm implements (4500 hoes) by humanitarian agencies. The late and
then excessive rains from mid-October 1997 caused flooding in the marshland
areas. Expected output for 1998A will be slightly down from 1997A, following
reports of low yields of pulses (beans), taro and potato.
Weather conditions were poor for 1998A crops, particularly beans and potatoes. The late and then excessive rains caused crop damage, particularly in the marshlands and on pulses on the hillsides.
The province of Karuzi has suffered heavy livestock losses. A herd restocking programme has just been launched with FAO and UNDP support. Five fish ponds have also been rehabilitated.
The drop in bean output and the high external demand for food commodities have driven up prices: 1kg of beans cost 130 FBu in January 1997 but 250 FBu in January 1998.
The number of malnutrition cases reported in Nutrition Centres, as well
as the associated mortality rate increased in September 1997 and subsequently
in December-January 1998. Most of these cases come from the north of the
province affected by insecurity, but the number of cases coming from the
south (where there were no camps) has increased recently. This leads to
the assumption that malnutrition is increasing throughout the population
and is not limited to people living in camps.
The planted area is about 15 percent larger than in 1997A, particularly for tide-over crops (sweet potato, cassava). FAO and other aid agencies have provided support for seed multiplication for distribution to the vulnerable population groups. The rains were late and then very heavy, causing late planting and high parasitic infestation. Harvests will be down 20 percent from last year because of this combination of heavy rainfall and diseases.
Prices have soared because of high external demand, particularly from neighbouring Rwanda. Bean prices, for example, rose from 130 to 300 FBu/kg between January 1997 and January 1998, rice from 220 to 400 Fbu and cassava flour from 90 to 180 Fbu.
The emergence of long-hidden people from forests has led to increased
visibility of malnourished adults and children at nutrition centres.
The 1998A planted area is much larger than in 1997A when there was a pronounced drought. Compared to the previous two years, the rains arrived on time, but were then very heavy and lasted until January, causing flooding in the marshlands, destroying the bean crop and delaying the planting of rice seedlings. The communes of Busoni, Gitobe, Bwambarangwe and Ntega were particularly hard hit. In the communes of Kirundu and Ntega, banana groves were also affected by the violent winds that preceded the first rains. The overall harvest for the 1998A season is estimated to be 10 percent higher than 1997A.
Herd restocking has progressed well at farm level.
As regards the market, the bean price has fallen from 300 FBu in December to 180 FBu in February 1998, but it is still higher than the 160 Fbu of 1997A.
The state of health and nutrition is not alarming although there are
isolated instances of malnutrition amongst the displaced and returnee population.
Agricultural inputs have been in short supply, particularly potato sets and dithane. Also, the heavy rains of November and December damaged the bean, potato and maize crops, and harvests for season 1998A will be 3 percent down from 1997A.
Food prices in January 1998 had increased sharply (threefold for some food items) from the level in January 1997.
The state of health and nutrition is clearly deteriorating among the
affected population, with an upsurge in bacillary dysentery (in Nyanza
Lac and Vugizo) and typhus (in Vugizo).
Food prices are very high, beans now costing 320 FBu/kg against 220 FBu/kg in January 1997, mainly due to strong external demand.
The nutritional situation in the province is worrying. An anthropometric
study conducted in November 1997 in the south of the province (the area
least affected by the crisis and without any camps) revealed a high rate
of severe malnutrition.
There was a general shortage of inputs - particularly potato and bean seeds. The planted area is 5 percent high than in 1997A, essentially because of the improved security situation. The rains started in September and were then followed by a short drought that lasted until early October. They were then widespread and heavy, causing flooding and significant damage to the bean crop in Giteranyi and Gasorwe. Harvests of the 1998A season are about 8 percent down.
Market prices generally fell from December to January 1998, but are still higher than in January 1997.
The state of health and nutrition is normal except for isolated cases
of dysentery and kwashiorkor in some camps for displaced persons.
The planted area is higher than in 1997A, but has nevertheless been restricted by the shortage of seeds (particularly potato). There was widespread rainfall in mid-October followed by excessive rains and violent winds, hail and flooding which caused serious damage in marshland areas. The bean (-30 percent) and maize (-20 percent) crops and rice nurseries were hit particularly hard by the flooding. Harvests are some 20 percent down from 1997A.
Commodity prices are high, with beans selling at 300 FBu/kg against 200 FBu in 1997A, banana at 1500 FBu a bunch against 800 FBu and sweet potato at 80 Fbu/kg against 60 Fbu.
The state of health and nutrition is relatively stable, although precarious.
The planted area in 1998A was up slightly from 1997A, although restricted by a shortage of inputs. The harvest prospects for 1998A are better than 1997A except for potato (bacterial blight).
The late arrival of the rains disrupted the seasonal schedule, but far more disruptive was their subsequent intensity which damaged beans, potatoes and maize, particularly in the communes of Buyogoma (Rutana, Musongati, Mpinga-Kayove and Gitanga). In contrast, the region of Mosso was not affected by the excessive rainfall on account of its sandier soils.
Food prices were significantly higher in January 1998 than in the previous year.
The state of health and nutrition appears to be stable.
The climatic and phytosanitary conditions in season 1998A have been unfavourable to healthy plant growth. The late rainfall followed by excessive rains exposed the crops to diseases, with heavy damage to maize from streak virus, to sweet potato from African army worm and banana from Panama disease. The planted area was much larger than in 1997A on account of the repatriated and returning displaced people, but output is expected to be some 4 percent down because of disease and excessive rainfall.
The high outflow of staple food commodities (bean, banana, sweet potato,
maize, dry cassava and groundnut) to other provinces and even to neighbouring
countries has caused market prices to escalate: banana, taro and potato
prices have doubled since January 1997.
The current high level of prices is the result of various factors: high demand from neighbouring countries, poor harvests in the last two seasons (1997C and 1998A), and low levels of imports associated with the economic embargo.
Food supplies became insufficient in the second half of 1997, despite an improvement in production of the B season, harvested in July 1997. This situation was the a result of significant food exports to neighbouring countries, especially Rwanda, stimulated by the devaluation of the Burundi franc.
Production of the secondary 1997C season, harvested in September/October, was sharply reduced by torrential rain, which meant a longer lean period. The exceptional rainfall also adversely affected the output of the 1998A season bean and maize crops, the seasonís main crops, exacerbating an already difficult food supply situation.
Although the economic embargo has been eased, the situation is still far from normal, and all economic sectors have suffered disruption.
In a move to counter rising food prices, the government has recently imposed a requirement of prior authorization for rice, maize, bean, cassava and cassava flour exports, and has suspended import duties on these items.
With the escalation in prices, purchasing an adequate amount of foodstuffs
is now beyond the reach of the majority of the population. This has aggravated
a food situation that has been precarious since 1994, owing to the combined
effects of the political crisis, the embargo and adverse weather conditions.
The most vulnerable groups include: (i) people recently returned to their
farms (from regroupment camps, from other countries, and from the forest),
who were unable to cultivate crops in the 1998A season; (ii) people affected
by insecurity, especially in the Mumirwa region, comprising Bubanza, Cibitoke,
Bururi and Bujumbura-Rural; (iii) people still living in camps and without
access to land; (iv) the poorest groups, because of insufficient resources
and the lack of employment opportunities. The nutritional situation of
these groups continues to give cause for concern.
Total food production in 1998 is estimated at 3 587 000 tonnes - 91 percent of the 1988-1993 annual average production - and comprises 291 000 tonnes of cereals, 296 000 tonnes of pulses, 1 459 000 tonnes of roots and tubers, and 1 541 000 tonnes of bananas.
As a result of poor harvests in previous seasons, insecurity and the embargo, stocks within the country are estimated to be negligible. Stocks of food aid have are also severely depleted, following the extensive damage to infrastructure by flooding in Tanzania and Kenya, causing transport difficulties which have kept imports to a minimum.
Food requirements have been assessed on the basis of a population of 6 283 700 in mid-1998 and an average per caput consumption of 47 kg of cereals, 52 kg of pulses, 230 kg of roots and tubers, and 267 kg of bananas and plantains. Cereal and pulse requirements are based on the apparent consumption for the 1994-1996 period and are some 6 percent lower than pre-crisis consumption.
Estimates of post-harvest losses, animal feed, seed and other uses are based on calculations made by FAO projects in the country. In the case of pulses and cereals, they amount to 18 and 13 percent respectively of total production. In the case of roots and tubers and bananas, about 10 percent of total production is used for non-food purposes.
The food shortfall, as derived from the supply and demand balance, amounts to 118 000 tonnes of cereals and pulses, 132 000 tonnes of roots and tubers, and 154 000 tonnes of bananas and plantains. In estimating food aid requirements, the root and tuber deficit has been converted into cereals, since roots and tubers are not available as food aid; in addition they are expensive to import as they are bulky and perishable in their raw form. Over two-thirds of the bananas produced are consumed as banana beer, and it is therefore hard to replace them by cereals in household food baskets. However, the small percentage of bananas consumed cooked or as a fruit - with a higher calorie content - has been converted into cereal equivalent. In converting root, tuber and banana deficits, the mission felt it unlikely that consumers would fully substitute them with cereals, but that other foods would be used to offset part of the shortfall. The mission therefore converted only 50 percent of the deficit into the cereal equivalent, which is then taken into account when estimating food aid requirements.
As a result of government measures on imports (the elimination of import duties), it is anticipated that food imports will be higher than in 1997 even though the devaluation will limit effective demand. Commercial imports have been estimated at 50 000 tonnes of cereals and pulses, or just below the pre-embargo level. Small amounts of tubers and bananas have also been taken into account.
After commercial imports, total food aid requirements for 1998 amount
to 85 000 tonnes of cereal equivalent, 60 000 tonnes of which will be met
by emergency food aid to be distributed by WFP to the most vulnerable sections
of the population. Over half of this food aid will be distributed during
the second half of the year, in view of the difficulties in transporting
food by road from Tanzania. After this contribution, there is still a shortfall
of 25 000 tonnes of cereals and pulses for 1998. It should be stressed
that these figures assume satisfactory production in 1998 B and C seasons,
and that the deficit could be higher if security conditions deteriorate
or weather conditions are adverse during these two seasons.
|DOMESTIC AVAILABILITY - 1998||587||1 459||1 541|
|Production B (forecast)||369||744||662|
|Production C (forecast)||41||227||402|
|TOTAL UTILIZATION||705||1 591||1 580|
|Food use||622||1 445||1 426|
|Seed, feed and other uses||83||146||154|
|In cereals equivalent||118||20||1|
|Food aid requirement||68||17||-|
|Food aid grand total||85|
|of which pledged||60|
During the second half of 1997, the bulk of WFP assistance was targeted to regrouped people, many with little or no access to land, whose numbers climbed as high as 280 000 during the period. These caseloads were provided assistance where they were found to have exhausted coping mechanisms and, therefore, required food assistance for survival. Food needs were determined based on household food economy surveys, regularly undertaken by specialized WFP assessment teams using Save the Children Fund (SCF) methodology.
Between September 1997 and January1998, the regroupement sites in Kayanza, Muramvya and Karuzi were largely dismantled. WFP provided resettlement packages of 90 days to those resettling in Kayanza and Muramvya and is planning to commence distribution of packages in Karuzi in the near future. Although there were no longer refugees in Burundi, during the second half of 1997 WFP provided assistance to refugees repatriating from Tanzania, DRC, and Rwanda, estimated by UNHCR at 35 000 people, in the form of transit rations and repatriation packages.
With a view to redressing malnutrition in many parts of the country, WFP continued to support NGOs, under the co-ordination of UNICEF, in providing assistance for supplementary and therapeutic feeding through health centres throughout the country to an average of 25 000 persons, mostly children, per month. It also supported 8 000 vulnerable people per month throughout the country through local partners and institutions.
Although the security conditions dictated that the majority of WFP assistance was channelled through emergency programmes, WFP also supported rehabilitation activities in secure areas through food-for-work programmes promoting rural rehabilitation and income generating activities to a monthly average of 18 000 direct beneficiaries, most of whom were women. Furthermore, in an attempt to maximize agricultural production, WFP worked in close collaboration with FAO on a nation-wide seeds distribution programme, with WFP providing logistical support, distribution teams, and seeds protection rations. Between July and December 1997, almost 900 tonnes of bean seed were distributed by WFP, together with the 15 day seed protection ration. In February 1998, this programme is on-going with distributions being undertaken in six provinces in the country.
The table below provides the tonnage dispatched for WFP programmes throughout
the country between July and December 1997:
Based on the above, the provision of assistance for WFP programmes amounted to an average of 3 300 tonnes of food per month during the latter half of 1997. Distributions remained below projected needs during this period, mostly due to limited access in certain areas as a consequence of insecurity.
WFPís programme in 1998 is expected to be similar to that of 1997 with assistance based on regular and continuing assessment of needs at the household level. In particular, a large proportion of assistance during the first half of 1998 is likely to be directed toward regrouped/stricken people (an estimated 100 000 needy people requiring assistance), mostly based in Bubanza and Cibitoke and other victims of conflict such as people displaced by fighting (estimated at 75 000). WFP is also prepared to respond with repatriation packages for refugees returning from Tanzania and for other regrouped people returning to their homes.
It is expected that Burundians will be able to rely on coping mechanisms to combat the negative effects of the reduced production from the Season A harvest (2 percent lower than 1997 and 20 percent lower than the 1998/1993 average). These include the production of cash crops (tea, coffee, peanuts, fruits and vegetables), small animal husbandry and wage labour. Nonetheless, WFP will continue to monitor the effects of reduced production, as the lean season evolves, through its assessments and/or contacts with Government, NGOs and other UN agencies. In cases where WFP is alerted to potential stress and exhausted coping mechanisms, needs assessments will be undertaken to affected populations and, where they are found to have exhausted coping mechanisms and require food assistance for survival, emergency assistance will be provided from resources made available under the regional emergency operation.
The 1998 programme levels (for cereals and pulses) are foreseen at approximately
60 000 tonnes for the year. Unfortunately, these levels have had to be
reduced dramatically to less than 2 000 tonnes per month until end-February
1998 in the face of serious logistics problems outlined below. While it
is hoped that increased deliveries will recommence from mid-March, it is
not expected that Burundi will receive more than 3 000 tonnes per month
in the following four months. Reduced levels of resources available within
Burundi will necessitate a prioritization of WFP assistance in order to
target the most needy. However, it is hoped that from July 1998, food deliveries
can match anticipated needs.
Unfortunately, recent floods in Tanzania have seriously impaired both
rail and road routes from Dar es Salaam and effectively cut off food deliveries
to Burundi in December 1997. During January and February, WFP received
some 3 000 tonnes from Uganda and Rwanda. This level of deliveries is expected
to continue during the next four months. Of this amount 2 000 tonnes are
expected through the north (Kampala-Kigali) and 1 000 tonnes from the south
(Isaka/Tanzania or Mpulungu/Zambia). While it is hoped that from July 1998
food deliveries can reach 5 000 tonnes per month, this remains dependent
on the uncertain evolution of weather conditions in Tanzania and the region
as a whole which will affect logistics capacity.
The number of patients at the Nutritional Recovery Centres (Centres Nutritionnels Térapeutiques) and Health and Nutrition Centres (Centres Nutritionnels et Sanitaires) affected by kwashiorkor and marasmus is rising and the level of mortality is high. The high percentage of adults among the malnutrition cases reflects the serious food insecurity situation of some groups of population. Malnutrition is tending to spread among both the camp inhabitants and the population who remained in the hill areas that were not affected by the civil unrest.
The situation does however vary from one region to another. Malnutrition remains at pre-crisis levels in some provinces but is high in the provinces most affected by the fighting. Because of the agricultural calendar, no early improvement can be envisaged in the provinces of Kayanza, Karuzi, Muramvya, Bubanza and Bujumbura-Rural. The lean season from March to May 1998 is likely to be particularly difficult considering the low output levels of the 1998A season.
It is still impossible to gauge the severity of the situation in a reliable
manner. The mission had to rely on data gathered from informed sources,
including provincial doctors, local government advisers, NGO staff and
hospital directors. The analysis of the rate of attendance at Nutritional
Centres was also used by the mission to identify the affected population
(area of origin of the seriously undernourished) and the evolution of the
situation. It is evident that attendance at Nutritional Centres is not
only determined by malnutrition itself but also by ease of access (distance
and security) and quality of services offered. The information thus collected
has been cross-checked by interviews with individuals and pertinent institutions.
The Government of Burundi has not yet carried out a national assessment
of malnutrition. However, everything points to a worsening of the nutritional
situation in the country.
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