Food Security Outlook Update

The agropastoral season is progressing normally despite early-season rainfall disruptions

August 2021

August - September 2021

October 2021 - January 2022

IPC v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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

  • With the resurgence of attacks in late July to August 2021 following high seasonal mobility, Boko Haram insurgents continue to cause population movements. This negatively affects the livelihoods of the 402,703 displaced persons and host households in Lac.

  • The agropastoral season is continuing normally thanks to the return of the rains following early-season dry spells. In the Sudanian area, crops are at the tillering to stem elongation stage. In Logone Occidental and Mayo Kebbi, crops have begun to produce (homegrown maize, edible peanuts, and taro). This helps improve household food security. In the Sahel, milk availability and winter products support household food consumption.

  • Despite a relative improvement in the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions being lifted by the Chadian government, the resumption of socioeconomic activities has been slow. Limited employment opportunities for very poor and poor households, decreased purchasing power for affluent households, and decreased prices of agropastoral products are reducing incomes and limiting market access in structurally deficient areas. This is maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity for households in Batha, BEG, Borkou, Kanem, and Tibesti.

  • High transportation cost and seasonal decreases in supply are impacting availability on cereal markets. Supply is declining at BEG and Kanem markets due to the seasonal flow decreases. Cross-border flows from Libya are slow due to insecurity on the Chad–Libya border. As a result, packaged food volumes are down at Tibesti and Borkou markets and in faraway BEG and Kanem. Prices of maize to substitute pasta are increasing compared to the five-year average in Massaguet (37 percent), Moussoro (11 percent), and Ngouri (17 percent) because of increased demand. Similarly, millet prices are trending up in Moussoro (17 percent) and Ngouri (27 percent).

CURRENT SITUATION

COVID-19: As of August 20, 2021, epidemiological data from the national coordination for health response shows that COVID-19 prevalence is stable. A total of 4,985 positive cases have been registered, with 4,804 recoveries and 174 deaths. The vaccination campaign, launched in late June, has reached less than 0.1 percent of the total population and is ongoing. 11,865 people have been vaccinated with 45,390 doses administered. The seasonal slowdown of economic activities in urban centers has been further intensified by the impacts of the pandemic, including decreased employment opportunities. This continues to disrupt livelihoods for poor and very poor households. Between late July and early August 2021, pandemic response food distributions were conducted by the WFP and its partners in the regions of Logone Oriental and Logone Occidental. As of August 20, 2021, 211,006 people have benefited from this first cycle of humanitarian assistance. Despite the slow recovery trends, most income sources remain down due to the slowdown of economic activities. This is affecting the food situation of households in certain areas (BEG and Kanem, and even large urban centers such as N’Djaména) that depend primarily on markets for their food consumption.

Changes in agro-climatic conditions: After early-season disruptions marked by dry spells and localized delays, rainfall gradually returned to nearly normal in most regions in the country. In Moyen Chari and Mandoul, cumulative rainfall recorded in many rainfall stations is higher than during the same period in 2020. Given the regularity of these agro-climatic conditions, agricultural and pastoral activities are taking place normally. They are encouraged by good availability of drinking water resources and pasture regrowth, particularly in pastoral and agropastoral areas.

Agricultural situation: The growing season is taking place as in a normal year in most areas of the country due to the resumption of rains observed in late July to mid-August 2021. In the Sudanian area, the season is marked by maintenance work. In Moyen Chari and Mandoul, activities mostly consist of weeding and manure application on crops. In these areas, various crops are in the stem elongation – setting stages for early sorghum varieties and tillering for late sorghum varieties and pennisetum. Legumes including peanuts are in the gynophore formation and pod formation stage. In Logone Occidental, maize is in the heading stage with lactic ripeness overall and harvest maturity for early and/or homegrown varieties.

Striga infestation of millet is reported in Doumdoum following insufficient rainfall, while caterpillars and beetles are invading okra in Ngouri. Lastly, cutworms and caterpillars are damaging maize in Bagasola. Given the increased farm mechanization following the reassignment of tractors by the government to regions, started over three years ago, as well as increased numbers of private service providers, increased farmland is reported in the eastern regions, notably Ouaddaï, Sila, and Wadi Fira.

Pastoral situation and livestock movement: Following favorable rainfall conditions, as in a normal year, the favorable situation is marked by good pastoral resource availability in most areas starting in the transhumance area, to the agropastoral area in the Sahel, all the way to the borders of the Sudanian area. High pasture availability is observed in all pastoral and agropastoral areas, in the areas alongside the Sahel, due to good emergence of fresh grasses as well as average pond filling as in a normal year. This helps meet the needs of animals over a reduced distance. With these good pastoral conditions, animals’ physical conditions have improved and are close to those of a normal year. Milk production resulting from these good climatic conditions is average to slightly higher than a normal year. The animal health situation is stable overall, apart from isolated cases of telluric diseases reported, including parasitic infections and blood-sucking insects reported in Lac. Despite vaccination coverage supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), some cases of foot and mouth disease are reported in the livestock sectors in the departments of Wayi and Fouli. Following insecurity caused by armed groups (Islamic State West Africa Province [ISWAP] and Boko Haram), most shepherds are concentrated in the southern part of Lac to seek shelter from the more pronounced threats around the northern area of the region. Overgrazing is observed in this area surrounding Lac, near the shores in the south.

Agricultural labor: The labor supply is average overall, with localized declines such as in Moyen Chari, where a decrease is observed due to an atypical preference for other activities, notably wood sales, despite a slight increase in employment opportunities such as in Héli-Bongo. This follows a migratory surge newly observed among the youth from Moyen Chari to Ouaddaï and Tibesti in recent weeks. The agricultural labor demand varies from average to slightly above-average due to increased farmland. As a result, stable daily wages from agricultural labor are observed in most areas, including Wadi Fira and Sila. Elsewhere, in Moyen Chari and Ouaddaï, a slight increase in daily wages — ranging from 10 to 25 percent above normal — is reported following increased demand from the volume of work. Daily wages in Héli Bongo, for example, are at 1,000 FCFA compared to 750 FCFA. Similarly, daily wages in Ouaddaï have increased from 2,500 FCFA to 3,000 FCFA. However, daily wages are not as high as usual due to low demand.

Conflicts and population movements: According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) August 2021 analysis bulletin, a pronounced resurgence of intercommunity conflicts has been reported throughout the country since the beginning of the year. This exacerbates the situation for households in certain areas, notably in Lac, where a longstanding tribal conflict of over 10 years between two ethnic groups over land access has resulted in two deaths and has left five people wounded. Isolated attacks from members of the ISWAP armed group between late July and mid-August 2021 caused new population displacements in the Lac region, which now counts 402,703 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Intercommunity conflicts between the Arab Choa and Musgum ethnic groups on August 10 and 11, 2021 in the Far North region of Cameroon caused the influx of an initial wave of 10,938 Cameroonians — mostly women, children, and elderly people — to Oundouma, a village in Chad along the Logone river, and some 1,000 Chadian returnees to the Kaliwa area (9th district of N’Djamena in Chad).  (Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], August 19, 2021).

Household cereal stocks:  Seasonal declines and depletions of household cereal stocks are observed in most areas of the Sahel. In BEG, Kanem, and part of Wadi Fira, most households depend on markets for their food consumption. This is exacerbated by the effects of transport cost bidding and low household incomes due to COVID-19. However, these households’ market access is limited by their low incomes. In the Sudanian area, residual stocks are supplemented by crops’ early produce, particularly homegrown maize.

Political situation: The death of then-president Idriss Déby, announced by the military on April 20, 2021, led to the nomination of his son Mahamat to chair a temporary Transitional Military Council (CMT), which was intended to last 18 months. However, in June, Mahamat suggested that it would be “very difficult” to follow the planned schedule unless international partners helped to finance a national dialogue and elections. The CMT plans to organize an inclusive dialogue toward the end of the year, sometime in November or December 2021. A Transitional National Council will be established and will be responsible for supervising elections. Although Mahamat named a civilian-led government and authorized a key political party prohibited by his father, control remains with the military.

Cereal markets and prices: A seasonal decrease in cereal supply is observed at the markets in most areas of the country. This decline is intensified in Lac, where security disruptions and a lack of household stocks limit market supply. Maize and millet have reduced availability in Ngouri and Bol. Increased demand for millet and maize is reported in Moussoro, Bol, and Ngouri following stock depletion, causing complete market dependency and a lack of availability at cereal markets in these areas. As of early August 2021, prices per kilogram of maize are moderately increasing compared to the five-year average in Moussoro (11 percent), Bol (18 percent), and Ngouri (22 percent) because of increased demand.  This same trend is reported for millet prices in N’Djaména and Nokou (11 percent), Moussoro (17 percent), and Ngouri (27 percent) due to increased demand caused by household stock depletion and the presence of migratory livestock.

Livestock markets:  Given the disruptions on the primary export routes to Nigeria, the largest consumer of Chadian livestock, markets are oversupplied in most agropastoral and transhumance areas. Demand is nearly stagnant, following the trend provoked by armed groups’ activities at the Chad-Nigeria border. However, a slight resumption of small ruminant ovine exports and a slow resumption for bovines to Nigeria has been observed since late July to early August despite the depreciation of the naira. New temporary ovine export routes to Sudan have been reported in the Guereda and Oum Hadjer areas. These minor changes to cross-border livestock flows to Nigeria and Sudan are seen in slight and/or moderate increases in small ruminant and bovine prices at certain markets compared to the five-year average. In early August, increases were reported for bovine prices in N’Djaména (35 percent), for ovine prices in Moussoro (33 percent) and Guereda (121 percent), and for goat prices in Abéché (32 percent), Amzoer (38 percent), and Abdi (32 percent) due to export demand.

Current food security outcomes: Resurging insecurity caused by attacks from non-conventional armed groups (ISWAP and Boko Haram) and the resulting forced population movements continue to disrupt livelihoods for displaced people and host households in the Lac region. Complete household stock depletion and low incomes limiting market access for IDPs and host households are worsening their food situation. Therefore, they are barely able to cover the minimum of their food needs by exhausting their livelihood assets or by resorting to crisis coping strategies. They are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Facing cereal stock decline and/or depletion and reduced market access with low income from labor and wood sales, poor households in the regions of BEG, Kanem, Ouaddaï, and Wadi Fira have minimal food consumption but cannot afford certain essential non-food expenses without resorting to irreversible coping strategies. They are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The arrival of early produce reinforcing residual household stocks in agricultural and agropastoral areas, particularly in the southern part of the country, encourages improved food consumption for households despite low incomes caused by the repercussions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  These households are able to cover their essential food and non-food needs without resorting to irreversible coping strategies to access food and income. They are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.

UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

  • Protest movements: Any extension of the temporary Transitional Military Council could cause widespread protests in large cities, particularly N’Djamena, Sarh, Moundou, and Abéché. With the announcement of France’s withdrawal from Operation Barkhane, the Sahel region risks depending even more on Chad’s key role in antiterrorism operations. Uncertainty around the succession and direction of the new administration will intensify operational challenges, which are already exacerbated by COVID-19, a shortage of qualified labor, and frequent strikes.
  • Tibesti: Security disruptions caused by rebel groups should decrease due to plans for an inclusive national dialogue at the end of the year, in November or December 2021. However, incidents at gold mining sites are expected to continue without respite, along with the exodus of non-indigenous artisanal miners.
  • Lake Chad/Boko Haram: Rising water levels and the limited mobility of government forces have caused a resurgence in attacks. Like the August 4 attacks on government positions, killing some 20 soldiers, new attacks and resulting population movements have been reported. Forced displacements will continue to be observed through the end of the year, when water levels gradually subside. To date, the humanitarian community has registered 402,711 displaced persons. Under the direction of Barnawi (2016-19), ISWAP primarily targeted government security forces and avoided direct attacks on civilians. However, after Barnawi’s eviction in 2019, Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi (“Ba Idrissa”) pursued a harsher ideology which led to increased targeting of civilians and humanitarian organizations. With Barnawi’s reinstatement in May, and several recent purges of hardline leaders, ISWAP could now resume concentrating primarily on military rather than civilian targets. Decreased attacks on civilian communities in Cameroon in recent weeks and increased attacks on military targets in Borno appear to illustrate this change.
  • Herder and farmer conflict: Conflicts have decreased and will continue to decrease overall, independently of seasonal increases in the December–April period.
  • Central African Republic/Sudan conflict and population movements: Continued conflict in the Central African Republic will likely result in increased numbers of refugees fleeing west to Cameroon and north to Chad. Given the relative calm observed in Sudan in recent weeks due to less frequent confrontations, population movements to Chad, particularly the region of Ouaddaï, have remained stable. A probable resurgence of attacks at the end of the winter season could be observed. This could cause population movements to areas near the Chad border.
  • Population displacements: On August 15, 2021, the Chadian government — through the governor of the Chari Baguirmi region — announced the arrival of 10,932 people in Oundouma, near Koundoul. These people fled intercommunity confrontations between the Cameroonian Musgum and Arab Choa tribes in the Far North region of Cameroon. The confrontations concerned water access between the region’s fishermen and farmers. These confrontations will likely continue, exceeding what has been seen previously. They are likely to persist until a probable decrease when the rainy season starts in October. As of August 10, these confrontations had caused the death of some 15 people. Most of these refugees are women and children. The UNHCR is working with Chadian authorities to plan accommodations for these people.

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY 2022

The first harvests completed for winter vegetables and other gathered products should help improve food consumption for displaced people and host households in Lac starting in September. Good production expected in Lac should further improve this consumption starting in October 2021, although localized drops in production in the region and increased demand on the market from IDPs will maintain Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security through January 2022. Thanks to the supplies of rainy season products and from the region, households in BEG, Kanem, and most agropastoral and pastoral households, as well as those in Borkou and Tibesti, should experience improved food situations with the gradual resumption of internal and cross-border flows following security improvements at the Libya border. These households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between October 2021 and January 2022. Other regions of the country will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity thanks to good product availability from the season’s harvests.

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 approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics