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Throughout the Sahel, local cereal prices remain higher than the five‐year average. However, following typical seasonal trends, prices were stable or began decreasing in September with the increased availability of maize from coastal countries and in anticipation of this year’s harvest. For rural households, food needs are increasingly met through early season crops and wild foods.
Conflict and subsequent localized civil insecurity during the first half of 2012 severely disrupted normal trade flows that typically support cereals supply in Northern Mali. However, the marketing system adapted to these changes and quickly increased the importance of otherwise tertiary market systems (e.g., Algeria). Adequate supplies of staple foods continue to be available on markets.
Household purchasing power has improved since August with the reestablishment of informal cash transfer systems and livestock trade flows and with the increased availability income earning opportunities. The seasonal availability of wild foods, early season harvests and livestock products as well as the availability of humanitarian assistance have further improved household food access. Physical access to markets is only occasionally disrupted due to localized conflict.
Between October and December, IPC Phase 3: Crisis levels of food insecurity in Zone 6 (Niger Delta Lakes) and Zone 3 (Fluvial Rice and Transhumant Livestock Rearing) should gradually improve to Stress (IPC Phase 2) with the September‐December cereal harvests, increases in income earning opportunities, and with the expansion of humanitarian assistance programs in the north. IPC Phase 2: Stress levels of acute food insecurity in agro‐pastoral areas, particularly in Zone 4 (Millet and Transhumant Livestock Rearing) will evolve to minimal levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) as market dependence decreases.
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