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Harvesting, drying, shelling and threshing activities for the early planted crop have intensified across various parts of the country. The late-planted crop is expected to be harvested in June/July in most areas. The harvests are steadily improving food availability, access and consumption for poor households but supplies will be short-lived, lasting only 1-3 months instead of the typical 3-5 months. Currently food security outcomes in grain-deficit areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Most northern and other typical high production areas are currently facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes and these outcomes are expected to continue from June through September. These outcomes are due to 2017 carryover stocks as well as supplies from the 2018 harvests. In grain-deficit southern, western and extreme northern areas, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected between June and July/August as poor households rely on own-produced stocks, while facing challenges in meeting other basic food and non-food needs. However, as these stocks are finished, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in some areas starting in August and humanitarian assistance will be required at that time to assist vulnerable households in meeting their basic food needs as well as protecting their livelihoods
Most markets currently have maize grain supplies from the 2017 harvest. A few markets including the Grain Marketing Board are beginning to receive supplies from the 2018 harvests. Average maize grain prices for April ($0.32/kg) in FEWS NET sentinel markets remained largely stable, yet 16 percent and 20 percent below same time last year and the five-year average, respectively.
Constrained livelihoods continue to limit poor household access to food and other basic needs. Below-average incomes (e.g. from crop and livestock sales and remittances) for better-off households are and will continue to affect opportunities for agricultural, non-agricultural labor, labor rates, and self-employment prospects. Prices of most goods and services remain above average. As cash shortages persist, users of electronic and mobile money transfers are incurring extra costs through high charges on transactions in both formal and informal markets.
This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.