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Cereal prices remained exceptionally high through January 2023 across all FEWS NET monitored markets in the Far North region, supported by below-average production and strong export demand (from Nigeria, Chad, and CAR) and compounded by insecurity and additional supply disruptions in areas where roads remain impassable due to previous floods. Sorghum and maize prices increased month-to-month between January to October 2022 and were 20-26 percent and 50-60 percent, respectively, above 2021 and the five-year average as of December 2022. Although off-season harvest in the unimodal rainfall northern areas will likely result in some seasonal price declines in March and April 2023, cereal prices will likely remain significantly above the five-year average through the beginning of the lean season in June 2023.
Despite a relative seasonal improvement in food and income in the Far North region following 2022 main harvests between October and November 2022, many poor households, particularly those displaced by insecurity, flooding, and 2021’s intercommunal conflict, continue to face difficulty meeting their basic food needs due to inadequate access to arable land, low own-harvest, significantly above-average staple food prices, low incomes, and insufficient humanitarian assistance. Given this, outcomes will likely deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worst from February through May 2023 for Logone-et-Chari, Mayo-Sava, and Mayo-Tsanaga divisions facing protracted Islamist insurgency.
As a result of below-average harvests in 2022 and inflationary pressures on food and essential non-food commodities, a growing number of poor households in the Northwest and Southwest regions are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In these regions, the lean season is predicted to begin earlier than typical in February instead of March. Staple grain availability at the household level remains lower than usual, with reliance on market purchases above typical seasonal levels, limiting food access amid high prices and low purchasing power. Despite ongoing and planned food assistance, food security needs will likely remain high for most displaced persons in the NWSW and produce widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcome through the lean season from March to May 2023.