Food Security Outlook Update

Floods damage household livelihoods across the country

August 2016

August - September 2016

Mali August 2016 Food Security Projections for August to September

October 2016 - January 2017

Mali August 2016 Food Security Projections for October to January

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Flooding that has caused heavy property losses in throughout the country could continue, undermining the livelihoods of affected households. Poor flood-stricken households in localized areas will have difficulty properly meeting their food and nonfood needs and, thus, will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions through October 2016. However, these households account for less than 20 percent of the population of any given area.

  • The growing season is making average to good progress throughout the country. Farm input assistance provided by the government and its partners and the good rainfall conditions are raising expectations for average to above-average levels of crop production across the country, which will help promote good food availability.

  • In general, there are adequate market supplies of staple foodstuffs, except in localized conflict areas in the northern part of the country where there are occasional reports of disturbances. The near-average levels of cereal prices are helping to give households average market access and keep food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels for most households. 

  • Poor households in the Lake Faguibine area and pastoral Gourma area of Gao and Timbuktu, that have smaller incomes from farming and pastoral activities, are fa cing a longer than usual lean season are resorting to atypical coping strategies to meet their food and nonfood needs. Thus, these households will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security conditions until the upcoming harvests in October 2016.

CURRENT SITUATION

Progress of the growing season 

The growing season is making normal progress in all parts of the country in spite of its shaky start in certain localized areas due to the poor spatial-temporal distribution of rainfall. In general, cumulative rainfall levels across the country for the period from April 1st through August 20th were normal to above-normal. Ongoing farming activities are providing average food and income-generating opportunities for poor households.

The improvement in pastoral conditions with the refilling of animal watering holes and the growth of fresh pasture is increasing animal production and income-generation from livestock in better physical condition. In general, pastures are in average to good condition. Animal health conditions are relatively stable.

Flooding

The heavy rains in certain parts of the country caused major physical damage (to homes, crops, livestock, etc.) as well as a number of human fatalities, particularly in the Sikasso, Gao, Mopti, and Ségou regions. According to the Civil Defense Agency, there were 9055 flood victims and 13 fatalities as of July 31, 2016. Poor flood-stricken households are having difficulty meeting their food needs while, at the same time, attempting to rebuild their lost livelihoods during the ongoing lean season.

Markets and prices

In general, there are adequate market supplies of cereal crops in spite of the sporadic incidents negatively affecting the movement of people and goods in localized areas of the Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, Mopti, and Ségou regions. The cereal sales at government-subsidized prices and harvests of off-season rice crops from various irrigation schemes are improving cereal availability. The prices of major cereal crops on all markets tracked by FEWS NET have been virtually stable since last month, which is helping to facilitate household access to these markets. In general, millet prices are below the five-year average by anywhere from six percent in Mopti to 11 percent in Sikasso. Prices for millet in areas of concern are stable in Rharous and Niafunké, down by 11 percent in Bourem and Ansongo, and up by 10 percent in Gao and 17 percent in Goundam due to a growing demand and the poor crop production in 2016, respectively.

In general, prices for livestock are rising, driven by the improvement in the physical condition of animals with the recovery of pastures and the tightening of supplies with the departure of transhumant herds. Prices for goats, the animal most commonly sold by poor households, are above the five-year average by five percent in Gao, 19 percent in Goundam, and 30 percent in Niafunké. With the steady improvement in livestock prices fueled by high demand for the celebration of Tabaski in the upcoming weeks, terms of trade are close to or above the five-year average by as much as 10 percent in Gao and 18 percent in Goundam, which is helping to give pastoral households average market access.

Population movements

There have been reports of new population movements in the Kidal regions as a result of the fighting between different armed groups. Another approximately 1,025 people have been displaced, which brings the total number of IDPs in Mali as of the end of July to 39,182 according to the count by the National Social Development Agency (DNDS), which is an increase of around three percent. A joint assessment report by NGOs in Gao reveals problems with access to food and shelter.

Humanitarian operations

There are ongoing distributions of free food supplies by the government and its partners to a food-insecure population of approximately 800,000 people as part of the National Response Plan. Distributions of three months’ worth of half-rations, livelihood assistance efforts in the form of distributions of farm inputs and small ruminants, and cash transfer programs for a target population of 1,300,000 people will limit recourse to negative strategies, particularly during the current lean season for farming populations. However, the new outbreak of fighting is negatively affecting the delivery of humanitarian assistance, particularly in the Kidal region. 

UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

The current situation has not significantly affected the assumptions used by FEWS NET in establishing the most likely scenario for the period from June 2016 through January 2017. However, the flood-induced losses of livelihoods have affected certain poor households across the country.

 

PERSPECTIVE ESTIMÉE JUSQU'À JANVIER 2017

Most farming households across the country should continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity with the near-average prices of cereals helping to give households average market access from average incomes earned from normal activities. The growing availability of “lean season” foods (pulses, wild plant foods, maize, etc.) will further improve the food security situation between now and the main harvest in October. The October harvest and ensuing drop in prices will help keep food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels through January 2017.

Poor households in the Goundam lake area contending with a longer than usual lean season due to the poor crop production in 2015 and reduction in their income will see their Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions improve by the beginning of October with the ongoing deliveries of humanitarian assistance, which will continue through October, the availability of fresh crops, and the drop in food prices. Thus, they will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between October 2016 and January 2017. 

Food security conditions in pastoral areas of Timbuktu and Gao will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the end of September due to the curtailment in the market access of poor households with the reduction in pastoral income. As of October, the lower prices of cereal crops and the availability of milk and wild plant foods will help give poor households ready food access. As a result, they will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between October 2016 and January 2017.

Moreover, heavy downpours have caused flooding problems negatively affecting household livelihoods in all parts of the country with the exception of the Kidal region. Thus, poor flood-stricken households accounting for less than 20 percent of the population of any given area, as well as households displaced from the Kidal region by the conflict in that area will continue to be classified in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase of food insecurity due to their inability to properly meet their food and nonfood needs without assistance.

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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