Implications of the Conflict in Ukraine on Food Access and Availability in the East Africa Region update #6 (September 2022)

• Increasing energy and food prices continue to challenge the fragile economies of the region by putting an additional burden on the most vulnerable households. The price of a local food basket has increased by 46.4 percent over the past twelve months. Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan continued to record the most expensive food baskets in the region (USD 32.3, 27.5 and 24.5, respectively).

• Nutrient-rich food continue to be less affordable than a year ago, with Sudan recording a more than twofold increase in milk price and Somalia recording a 43 percent increase in the cost of milk.

• Price of cereals and vegetable oils stabilized between July and August 2022; however, the cost of both items soared compared to a year ago. Sorghum in Sudan has become 3 times more expensive than a year ago driven by higher transport costs and the compound effect of poor produce and high demand during the peak lean season. Cost of imported wheat increased by 30 percent since the conflict in Ukraine started.

• Government policies to cushion people from price spikes helped keeping fuel prices stable across most the region; however, pump prices have soared compared to pre-conflict level and a year ago (reaching an average cost of USD/L 1.6). Due to shortages, fuel prices in Burundi tripled compared to August 2021; in Somalia and South Sudan fuel prices have almost doubled compared to a year ago.

• Higher energy cost contributed the spike in overall costs of living across the region, with the annual inflation rate averaging 27.6 percent. August marked the sixth monthly decline in annual inflation in Sudan; however, the country is still recording hyperinflation (at 117.4 percent, ranking as the fourth highest inflation rate in the world). Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Burundi continued to record double digit inflation (32.5, 20.4 and 19.6 percent, respectively).

• All countries in the region recorded double digit food inflation in August 2022, mainly Sudan (81.8 percent, the highest food inflation rate in the region), Ethiopia (35.5 percent) and Rwanda (34.4 percent, the highest since 2010, pushed up by spikes in cereals and vegetables prices).

• Local currencies across East Africa continue to depreciate against the U.S. dollar; with South Sudan recording the highest depreciation of local currency against the USD both in the official market and parallel market.

Source: World Food Programme