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In December, conflict against civilians remained relatively calm, with fighting reported between rival non-state actors in Borno State. The ongoing fighting, coupled with military operations, will continue to displace more populations to nearby urban areas. IDP camps continue to close in the northeast, particularly in Borno state, where 10 camps have closed between May 2021 and December 2022. The camp closures have resulted in about 150,000 households resettling across the state. Many of the resettled households remain highly vulnerable. They are in areas inaccessible to humanitarians, and humanitarians continue to be limited in the provision of assistance to households outside of camp settings. Some households receive temporary resettlement packages, and most rely on unskilled labor to access food. Food assistance, primarily to remaining camp residents, declined by about 19 percent in November relative to October across the three northeast states. As a result, many households depend on market purchases to access food; however, staple prices remain atypically elevated, resulting in most poor households having low purchasing power. With the persisting conflict in the northeast, many households will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least May 2023.
Conflict in the northwest and northcentral zones continues to escalate in terms of locations affected and the number of incidents in December. Recent attacks are reported in Kaura and Birnin Gwari LGAs in Kaduna State, Batsari LGA in Katsina State, Shiroro in Niger State, and Guma LGA in Benue State. Additionally, communal attacks and farmer/herder conflict persist in Plateau and Benue states. Consequently, population displacement, civilian fatalities, market disruptions, and loss of livelihoods continue to increase in conflict-affected areas. Conflict-affected households will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In addition, many areas of the northwest and northcentral were substantially impacted by the recent flooding along major rivers, including the Niger and Benue, resulting in population displacement and destruction of farmlands. Many households that remain displaced will face difficulty engaging in normal dry-season cultivation along the floodplains.
Water levels along major floodplains continue to recede, driving displaced populations to return to their homesteads gradually following the historic 2022 flooding. Households along flood plains and riverine areas are engaged in land preparation for dry season cultivation. Although displacement remains high, as well as the price of agricultural inputs and fuel for irrigation, household engagement in the second season is lower than normal. Furthermore, due to the lower level of area planted and general engagement in the season, availability and income from agricultural labor remains below average and even farther below average in northwestern and northcentral conflict-affected areas. In the northeast of Nigeria, the dry season cropping will likely be above recent years as households return to homesteads and have increased access to farmlands.
Macroeconomic conditions continue to remain poor and are expected to continue in this trend in December In November, the inflation rate increased for the tenth straight month, reaching 21.47 percent, the highest since September 2005. Food prices and the cost of transportation are the key drivers of annual inflation. The value of the Nigerian Naira (NGN) appreciated slightly in December. As of December 20, the NGN exchanged at 743 NGN/USD, relative to 772 NGN/USD in October and 775 NGN/USD in November. With the increasing trend in crude oil production and appreciation of the NGN relative to other foreign currencies, the revenue accruing to the government will slightly increase, and government purchasing power is likely to improve in the coming months.
This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.