Food Security Outlook Update

Assistance needs remain high in northeast Nigeria as the main harvest concludes

December 2018

December 2018 - January 2019

February - May 2019

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Elevated Risk of Famine - Phase 5 cannot be confirmed nor disproven with available evidence
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
Concentration of displaced people
Elevated Risk of Famine - Phase 5 cannot be confirmed nor disproven with available evidence
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
Concentration of displaced people
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

  • The level of displacement continues to increase in Nigeria, with more than two million IDPs identified in the last IOM report from October 2018. Of those identified, there are nearly 1.85 million conflict-related IDPs in northeast Nigeria. Borno state, the epicenter of the insurgency, was hosting almost 1.5 million IDPs in October 2018. Intense attacks by insurgents and military operations have led to increased levels of displacement, vulnerability, and food assistance needs.

  • Humanitarian actors continue to provide assistance, reaching almost 1.5 million people across the three northeast states in October, about 1.3 million people in Borno state alone, with food assistance. However, food assistance has declined relative to previous months. The intense Boko Hara related conflict has once again severely restricted agricultural production in 2018. 

  • Households in southern Yobe, northern Adamawa, and central and southern Borno worst-affected by the insurgency continue to depend on humanitarian assistance and are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3/3!) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. There are areas that remain difficult to access by humanitarian actors, and outcomes are likely similar to or worse than in adjoining accessible areas. Additionally, there is continued concern that in a worst-case scenario, populations in currently accessible areas, who are often centered in urban areas, could become cutoff due to a shift in conflict, leading to more extreme outcomes.

  • Outside of the northeast, both household and market food supplies continue to increase as the main harvest concludes across the country. Most of the country will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through at least May 2018. However, areas worst-affected by widespread flooding and farmer/pastoralist conflict see greater difficulty accessing basic needs will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes through May 2019.

Current Situation

The conflict in the northeast of Nigeria persists in December as the main harvest concludes. The conflict situation in Borno state remains fluid, particularly in the Sambisa Axis, Central Borno and northern parts of the state. The insurgents have continued to target farmers, either directly on farm or at the homestead, resulting in fatalities and harvest losses. A recent attack by the insurgents on a rice field in the outskirts of Maiduguri has resulted in the loss of over 125 tons of rice along Fadama areas in Kwashabe community (Jere LGA), depriving the vulnerable population of access to food and income. Recent attacks on military installations in Buni Gari (Yobe state), and Metele in Abadam LGA (Borno state) resulted in substantial casualties, including military personnel. However, the number of fatalities from conflict across the three northeast states in October 2018 declined slightly relative to previous the year (Figures 1 and 2).   The most critical conflict areas were in Bama, Konduga, Monguno, and Guzamala LGAs in October 2018. Others are Damboa, Jere/MMC, and Mobbar LGAs. While the security situation in Yobe state has generally improved, the situation remained critical in Gujba LGA in October relative to last year. In Adamawa state the conflict situation is exacerbated by the farmer/herder conflict and elevated levels of insurgent attacks continue in Madagali LGA persisted.

Recent ETT report covering November 19 to 25 revealed a total of 2,707 population movements were recorded across Borno and Adamawa states, including 2,285 arrivals and 422 departures. Most arrivals were recorded in Monguno, Gwoza, Magumeri, and Bama in Borno state. Within the same period about 274 Nigeria refugees arrived, mainly from Cameroon. IOM-DTM round 25 indicates there are over 1.8 million IDPs across Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

An HEA baseline assessment was conducted in October 2018 by SCI in partnership with WFP, NEMA, NPFS, Bauchi and Borno states Ministry of Agriculture, and local NGOs covering several LGAs in Borno state’s Livelihood Zone 12. The study indicates that market purchase, own crops, and food aid contribute an average of 79, 29 and 9 percent, respectively, of households’ minimum food requirements. The assessment also found that the very poor households would not be able to meet their annual food needs without food aid. The HEA Outcome Analysis results found a situation indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes.

A multisectoral needs assessment preliminary report for Borno state produced by REACH during the lean season (June to September 2018) indicates that 58 percent of the IDPs have not received any form of assistance. Damboa LGA was reported to have the most critical cross sectoral needs in Borno state with 94 percent of the assessed population expressing critical food needs during the lean season period. Other LGAs with critical sectoral needs include Bama, Gwoza, Guzamala, Nganzai, Kukawa, Monguno and Magumeri. Presently, NEMA is planning a direct food distribution in some hotspot areas including Gwoza LGA (Izge, Limanti, Gwoza and Pulka). Other localities are Hambagda, Ngoshe, Bitaku Yanaju and Kafai, targeting 12,000 returnees and 5,000 IDPs. This was a result of recent NEMA assessments that suggested immediate intervention needs in the areas of food, health, and rehabilitation of roads and bridges to increase access in the area. In October 2018 1.5 million

Figure 3. Oct 2018 millet prices

Source: FEWS NET

people benefitted from food assistance across Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, somewhat lower than 1.83 million and 1.94 million beneficiaries in September and August, respectively, across the three states.

UNHCR, in partnership with Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), continue the process of Nigerian refugee registration. From January through November over 40,390 individuals have been registered along designated Nigerian border posts. UNHCR Nigeria is working closely with partners to implement a comprehensive response strategy, including providing targeted assistance to the returning Nigerians. The number of Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria has been increasing and according to UNHCR there are over 32,600 Cameroonian refugees in Cross River, Taraba, Benue and Akwa Ibom states as of November 30, 2018.

Outside of the northeast, several states including Niger, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Benue, Taraba, and Adamawa were affected by flooding during the 2018 main cultivation season. Others include Bayelsa, Rivers, Anambra, Delta, and Edo in the southern areas. Many affected populations remain displaced and most are in camps, while others are staying with relations. However, less affected populations have returned to their homes as government provided some relief items to some of the affected households. Others are engaged in dry season cultivation and fishing activities to recoup some of their losses.

Farmer/pastoralist conflicts continue at a high rate as the main harvest concludes across the country. Several populations are displaced across affected states leading to large disruptions in livelihoods. Communal conflict and attacks by bandits have exacerbated the level of population displacement. Recently, in Sokoto state, there was an escalation of attacks by bandits on several communities, particularly in Tangaza LGA as well as Zurmi, Birnin Magaji, Kaura Namoda, Shinkafi LGAs in Zamfara state.

The main season harvest has concluded in many areas and harvests for long cycle crops such as sorghum and cowpea are underway. Average to above average production in most areas outside the northeast of Nigeria is expected.  Off-season activities, including dry season cultivation, is underway along river floodplains across the country. Average to above average dry season harvests are also expected in April/May 2019, increasing food and income access.

Staple cereal prices including maize, millet, and sorghum were declining in October relative to previous months. Staple cereal prices are lower than last year but remain higher than average for most all commodities across markets. Prices are relatively higher in the northeast markets impacted by conflict (Figure 3).

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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