OVERVIEW AND METHODOLOGY
Uganda is one of the world’s leading refugee-hosting countries, with a protracted refugee situation and continued influxes of refugees from neighboring countries. The country hosts 1,573,291 refugees as of December 31, 2021, 94% of whom live in camps mainly in the West Nile and South West regions of Uganda.
Given this situation, the World Food Program (WFP) has established a regular system of monitoring market prices in refugee camps to inform cash response approaches. These surveillance efforts predate the COVID-19 crisis. However, due to the evolving situation and the ongoing COVID-19 containment measures, there is a risk that markets will be significantly affected and beneficiaries receiving cash assistance may not be able to access essential goods. In response, with technical support from the Market Analysis Task Force and REACH in particular, this market price monitoring system has been expanded to capture information crucial to understanding the impact of COVID-19 on commodity prices and the functionality of markets in refugee communities across Uganda. .
WFP collected the data through key informant (KI) interviews with traders, people selling key commodities, in the markets of 13 refugee settlements from 1 to 30 November 2021. Some of the data was collected remotely, using the Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) telephone survey system. Data on items sold in bulk was collected in person with purchased items and weighted where possible.
Finally, the key informants were sampled purposively, which means that the results are only indicative. The figures represented in this sheet are presented at the national and regional levels, unless otherwise indicated. A total of 172 traders were interviewed across the country during this round. Of these, 131 were from the South West Region (SWR) and 41 from the West Nile Region (WNR).
Average cost of full MEB in November 2021: UGX 427,475
-3% compared to the full MEB March 2021.
Average food MEB cost in November 2021: UGX 259,109
-7% compared to the food MEB March 2021.
In all regions, the prices of the main food items in the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) remained broadly stable.
In the WNR, the price of beans has decreased by 36% since May, from 3,363 UGX to 2,161 UGX. In the SWR, the price of millet flour stabilized as it gradually increased by 13% from July to October.
Nationally, only 26% of providers surveyed said they accept mobile money payments. The percentage was significantly higher in the SWR (69%) than in the WNR (10%).
Nationally, 14% of suppliers surveyed reported difficulties in meeting demand. The proportion was much higher in the WNR (49%) than in the SWR (3%).
Similarly, fears of running out of stock were more often reported by WNR suppliers (29%) than by SWR suppliers (2%).
The market price of the WFP GFA food basket increased by 7% in group 1 settlements, remained stable in group 2 settlements and increased by 5% in group 3 settlements. The transfer value of WFP could cover 113%, 110% and 122% of the 70%, 60% and 40% rations in group 1, group 2 and group 3 respectively.
The cost of MEB food was 268,829 UGX, 290,625 UGX and 230,479 UGX in groups 1, 2 and 3 respectively. WFP geo-prioritized transfer value could only cover 41%, 33% and 28% of MEB food costs in Group 1 settlements, Group 2 settlements and Group 3 settlements respectively.
Top 3 challenges reported by merchants:
1 Fluctuation in commodity prices 66%
2 Transport price increase 41%
3 Lack of customers 40%