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Food aid must be increased to save lives and end the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in northern Burkina Faso

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Burkina Faso
  • October 2023 - May 2024
Food aid must be increased to save lives and end the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in northern Burkina Faso

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  • Key Messages
  • The population facing Catastrophic (IPC Phase 5) hunger is increasing in northern Burkina Faso, and Djibo continues to face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5)
  • National Overview
  • Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year
  • Areas of concern
  • Most likely food security outcomes and areas receiving significant levels of humanitarian assistance
  • Key Messages
    • High levels of conflict in the north and east of Burkina Faso, including blockades of entire communes by non-state armed groups, continue to provoke a humanitarian emergency. Several areas of the Sahel region are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes, and information provided by key informants strongly suggests that the population facing extreme hunger indicative of Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) is increasing in Soum, Oudalan, and Yagha provinces. The areas of greatest concern include the communes of Djibo and Arbinda (Soum), Markoye (Oudalan), and Sebba (Yagha), which have been under blockade for over a year and are subject to strict restrictions on population movement. In these areas, anecdotal reports suggest that many households resort to begging and risking their lives to find wild foods despite the threat posed by armed groups, and visible signs of acute malnutrition are evident among the population. 
    • The number of communes under blockade has doubled since last year to around 30, notably in Sahel, Nord, Centre-Nord, Est, Boucle du Mouhoun and Centre-Est regions. Populations have very limited access to food and sources of income, military escorts are needed to supply the local market, and food aid must be delivered mainly by air at irregular intervals due to insecurity and insufficient funding. In some communes, current harvests will last less than three months for households, and markets have not been supplied for three to six months. Food aid deliveries reached only 178,000 people monthly between July and September, or 29 percent of the population estimated by FEWS NET to be in need.
    • From October to May, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes will gradually extend to the north and east of Burkina Faso. The pastoral lean season, in particular, will start earlier than normal in the north. Forecasts indicate that the 2023 national cereal harvest will be below the five-year average due to reduced planted areas as a result of insecurity, lower yields resulting from difficulties in accessing fertilizers, and long rainfall breaks in July and September. Drought conditions also had an impact on livestock production, resulting in a shortage of forage and below-average water reservoir levels, particularly in the north. In addition, insecurity and export restrictions on cereals and cowpeas will continue to limit cross-border and internal trade flows to the structurally deficit areas of the north. Staple food prices will be above average throughout the period, and blockaded regions are likely to see record price levels continue.
    • In the most likely scenario, the combination of harvest stocks, wild foods, occasional market deliveries, and irregular food assistance will keep Djibo in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) until May. However, FEWS NET believes that a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will persist in Djibo. If conflict or financial and logistical factors lead to an even greater than expected reduction in already minimal household food sources, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely to occur. Ultimately, donors, the government, and humanitarian partners must take steps to increase food aid deliveries and guarantee full humanitarian access in order to limit loss of life. FEWS NET is closely monitoring the risk of a similar deterioration in other areas subject to prolonged blockades, including Arbinda (Soum), Markoye (Oudalan), and Sebba (Yagha).

    The population facing Catastrophic (IPC Phase 5) hunger is increasing in northern Burkina Faso, and Djibo continues to face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5)

    The intensification of the conflict between military forces and armed terrorist groups (ATG) is leading to a further deterioration in levels of acute food insecurity in the north and east of Burkina Faso, particularly in the Sahel region. Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) is extending the use of blockades against entire towns to restrict the movement of civilians and control major supply routes, with the aim of consolidating their territorial control in Sahel, Centre-Nord, Nord, and Est regions. They are also trying to extend their control over smuggling routes and strengthen funding sources in agricultural production zones, notably in Boucle du Mouhoun, Hauts-Bassins, and Centre-Est regions. As a result, the number of communes under blockade—i.e., where the radius of movement for civilians is limited beyond one to three kilometers (km), where market supplies depend on military escorts, and where humanitarian access is very limited—has doubled to around 30. In the communes of Soum, Loroum, Yagha, and Kompienga provinces, blockades have been in place for more than a year.  

    With the increase in the number of communes under blockade, supplies of staple foods to local markets by escort have become irregular, with longer lead times sometimes reaching four to five months (Figure 1). After attacks on convoys carrying humanitarian food assistance and commercial goods along the Dori-Arbinda and Djibo-Kongoussi routes in July 2023, air transport has become the main means of delivering assistance to most of the areas under blockade. Given the logistical and security constraints, it is difficult to plan quantities and delivery times for aid distribution. 

    Limited household access to fields, coupled with insufficient rainfall and crop damage from grasshoppers and granivorous birds, results in meager harvests that can meet the needs of most communes under blockade for only one to three months. In addition, during the early stages of the blockades, households had to sell their productive assets—mainly livestock—or lost their livelihood assets after being displaced. ATGs also looted livestock and other assets. As a result, poor host households and IDPs lack income to access foodstuffs transported and sold at atypically high prices, with five-year variations reaching 106 percent for maize in Kompienga (Est region) and 153 percent for millet in Sebba (Sahel region) in September. A complete shortage of foodstuffs was observed in September and October in the commune of Arbinda (Sahel region), and foodstuffs such as oil, sugar, and condiments were in short supply, particularly in the communes of Djibo, Sebba, and Markoye. Access to firewood also remains a challenge in many areas, given prevailing insecurity and increased pressure from internally displaced persons (IDPs).

    In all areas under blockade, SMART Rapid surveys conducted in July/August 2023 show a deterioration in the nutritional situation, with high global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates in the Severe (GAM 10–14.9 percent) and Critical (15–29.9 percent) ranges. This stems from a concerning household food situation and restricted availability of health services and nutrition initiatives such as vitamin A supplementation, deworming, and vaccination. Additionally, subpar hygiene and sanitation conditions persist, particularly in areas with a significant concentration of IDPs. In view of the high number of people facing prolonged Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes, it is possible that some households are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), particularly in the communes of Djibo, Arbinda, Sebba, Kelbo, Markoye, Gorom-Gorom, and Titao.

    Against this backdrop of a worsening humanitarian crisis, the Djibo commune, home to some 300,000 people and where the blockade has now lasted almost two years, remains the area of greatest concern. According to key informants, less than a third of the population has harvested cowpeas and millet, a quantity insufficient to meet requirements for a three-month period. The majority of households will depend on a combination of wild foods, limited income from water sales, remittances from relatives living outside the province, and humanitarian food assistance. The last convoy under military escort to Djibo was on May 21, 2023, some five months after the market was supplied. However, key informants report that households do not have money to make purchases. At the height of the lean season, between July and September, food assistance delivered by WFP by helicopter and by the government under military escort in May reached an average of 30 percent of the population. However, information available from WFP indicates that food assistance levels will fall to an average of just 16 percent of the population between October and December.

    In the most likely scenario, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected in Djibo until May, with some households in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), facing significant to extreme food consumption deficits and high levels of acute malnutrition and mortality. However, FEWS NET assesses that there is also a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5). Currently, the combination of harvest stocks, wild foods, occasional market deliveries, and food assistance will prevent more extreme food insecurity. Unlike last season, the dam's lower water level could cause it to dry up early between March and May, depriving the population of the opportunity to grow vegetables on small plots. Even if marginal, this will be one less source of food. If conflict or financial and logistical factors lead to an even greater than expected reduction in already minimal household food sources, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely to occur. Ultimately, donors, the government, and humanitarian partners must take steps to increase food aid deliveries and guarantee full humanitarian access in order to limit loss of life and avert the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5).

    Currently, Djibo continues to experience the most severe conditions. However, the blockaded communes of Arbinda, Markoye, and Sebba are causing increasing concern and require an urgent increase in food aid and action to improve humanitarian accessBlockades of these areas have now been in place for over a year, and they are subject to infrequent market supply deliveries and difficult humanitarian access. Available information suggests that the severity of restrictions on population movement is relatively lower in these areas, allowing a relatively higher level of cultivation, but only marginally. FEWS NET will continue to closely monitor the risk of a further deterioration in the severity of acute food insecurity in these areas. 

    Figure 1

    Number of months between last supply to key markets in blockaded areas and mid-October 2023
    Nombre de mois séparant le dernier approvisionnement des marchés clés des zones sous blocus, à mi-octobre 2023

    Source: FEWS NET


    National Overview

    Current situation

    Security situation: Across the nation, reported security incidents involving armed terrorist groups (ATGs) from January to August 2023 remained 20 percent lower than the levels observed during the corresponding period in 2022. However, the loss of life associated with these incidents significantly increased by 118 percent over the same period. This rise can be attributed to the escalation in complexity and scale of ATG attacks, as well as the heightened intensity of strikes by defense and security forces (FDS) on ATG bases (Figure 2).

    Figure 2

    Changes in security incidents and fatalities from January 2020 to September 2023
    Evolution des incidents sécuritaires et des fatalités de janvier 2020 à septembre 2023

    Source: FEWS NET avec données de ACLED

    In the Nord, Sahel, Est, and Boucle du Mouhoun regions, ATGs continue to put pressure on civilian populations, maintaining roadblocks on Kaya-Dori, Dori-Sebba, Dori-Arbinda, Gorom-Gorom-Markoye, Kongoussi-Djibo, Ouahigouya-Titao-Djibo, Dédougou-Nouna-Djibasso, Dédougou-Tougan, Yako-Tougan, Fada-Gayéri, Fada-Kantchari, and Fada-Pama routes. In areas under their control, ATGs have established an increasing number of checkpoints where transit is permitted only after payment, through the increasingly formal collection of zakat from livestock breeders and the exploitation of artisanal gold mines. The number of communes under blockade has risen from around 15 last year to around 30 in August 2023. In addition to attacks on FDS and Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP) convoys and positions, ATGs are increasingly planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs), making the internal movement of goods and people difficult (Figure 3). Production zones (Boucle du Mouhoun, Centre-Est, Hauts Bassins, Cascades) and traffic corridors, particularly along the borders with coastal countries, are also subject to atrocities by ATGs, who seek to deprive populations of access to agricultural activities and to control smuggling routes. They continue to retaliate against civilians they accuse of complicity with the FDS, driving further internal displacement. 

    Although statistics on the number of total displaced persons have not been published since March 2023, when over 2 million displaced persons were registered, new cases of displacement between March and August are more significant: 499,108 (GSAT Cluster) against 191,937 cases of return (Ministry of Humanitarian Action) facilitated by the FDS over the same period.

    Figure 3

    Humanitarian access map for Burkina Faso in October 2023
    Carte de niveau d’accès humanitaire au Burkina Faso en octobre 2023

    Source: FEWS NET, avec données du Cluster Sécurité Alimentaire, PAM, Système d’Alerte Précoce, ACLED

    Agropastoral season: Seeding for the current agricultural season has started late in several regions of the country. According to the Agence Nationale de la Météorologie, cumulative rainfall from April 1 to October 10, 2023, was generally lower than last season and below the average. Nevertheless, the late onset of rainfall in October enabled the various crops to complete their cycles. Maturation is underway for sorghum, millet, rice, and cotton. Harvesting has begun for other crops. In addition to the difficult start to the season, high prices of fertilizers and insecurity have been major constraints. In addition, sown areas have been significantly reduced in the Sahel, Centre-Nord, and Est regions. The decline in acreage due to displacement and ATG threats has affected new provinces, notably Kossi, Sourou, Mouhoun, Banwa (Boucle du Mouhoun region), Koulpélogo (Centre-Est region), and Houet (Hauts Bassins region). In the provinces of Oudalan and Séno, attacks by granivorous birds and threats of reprisals by ATGs have prompted households to start harvesting millet early, before it has fully ripened. Much longer dry spells (up to 20 days in some places) were recorded in September in the Centre-Nord region at the critical flowering/grain head emergence stage, which had a negative impact on yields. Cantharid and locust attacks also affected several communes in the Centre-Nord (Bourzanga, Bouroum, Pensa) and Sahel (Gorom-Gorom, Falangountou, Dori, Gorgadji) regions. In many localities under ATG pressure, access to fields for harvesting remains a challenge.

    The dry spells in September led to poor development of natural pastures in the Centre-Nord and Sahel regions. Livestock pressure in accessible areas reduces forage availability in these zones at an early stage.

    Despite the cumulative rainfall deficit, the water level of the main dams is similar to or even higher than the interannual average (1991–2020), with the exception of dams and ponds in the Sahel region and Loroum province, which are lower. For example, the Titao dam in Loroum province recorded a filling rate of 58.48 percent, compared with an average of 92.07 percent on October 10.

    Market functioning and food prices: The security situation continues to negatively impact the functioning of agricultural and livestock markets. The supply of staple cereals is average or even below average in markets in the relatively calm southern and western parts of the country, due to low carryover stocks and export restrictions that discourage some traders from mobilizing stocks. Cereal supplies are very low in blockaded areas, where supplies can be provided only by convoys under military escort (Figure 4). These convoys are becoming less frequent as the number of zones under blockade increases. A total shortage of foodstuffs was observed in September and October in Arbinda, and in most other areas, foodstuffs such as edible oil, sugar, and condiments are in short supply. Demand is close to average but lower than in 2022 despite an increase in the populations' needs. This situation is linked to low incomes, ongoing food distribution operations, and the sale of cereals at subsidized prices, with higher volumes this year (around 30,000 tonnes at the end of September compared with an average of 20,000 tonnes).

    Figure 4

    Map of market functioning, Liptako Gourma, September 2023
    Une image contenant texte, carte, diagramme, atlas

    Source: FEWS NET

    Domestic and international trade continue to be cautious. The ban on exports of cereals, their derivatives, and cowpeas is still in force. The recent authorization to export cereals and cowpeas to Niger has not, for the moment, had a significant effect on domestic demand. Prices remained above average for the main staple cereals in September: 28 percent for maize, 29 percent for millet and imported rice, and 36 percent for white sorghum. This increase is mainly due to high input costs, lower inventories, and higher transport costs. In blockaded and insecure areas, variations can exceed 100 percent. For example, the price of maize recorded a five-year rise of 106 percent in Kompienga in Est region, while that of millet increased by 153 percent in Sebba in the Sahel. These sharp rises are due to difficulties in supplying markets in these areas, which are often short of basic foodstuffs. 

    In the pastoral zone, which is the most affected by insecurity, several local livestock markets remain closed, including the main market in Djibo. Also, animal offers in September are down slightly in the Dori market due to losses, looting by ATGs, and previous destocking, but the decreases vary between 40 and 55 percent compared to average for the different species in the Gorom-Gorom market. Demand for animals is also down overall and is mainly dominated by domestic traders. Since the second quarter of 2023, the main trade route between Kaya and Dori has only been accessible by escort, which discourages foreign transporters and buyers. In September, prices for bulls in good physical condition were up 11 percent compared with the five-year average at the Dori market, but down 16 percent at Gorom-Gorom. Prices for billy goats and rams declined slightly in both markets compared with the five-year average, due to lower demand resulting from fewer foreign buyers visiting these markets. On the other hand, in the main markets in relatively calm areas, animal prices are up slightly or moderately compared to the five-year average. 

    Sources of income: Overall, persistent security threats continue to limit people's access to their usual sources of income. In relatively calm areas of the country, the sale of new crops (cowpeas, groundnuts), livestock, market garden produce, non-timber forest products (NTFPs), and farm labor are the main sources of income for poor households. As a result of the ban on cereal and cowpea exports, the producer price for cowpeas is 37 percent lower than last year and 20 percent lower the five-year average. Shelled peanut prices were slightly down from last year but 25 percent up from the five-year average. The animals are sold at slightly to moderately above-average prices to support the ever-increasing cost of schooling, as the closure of schools due to insecurity means that parents have to pay more to send their children to urban centers. Both host households and IDPs have intensified vegetable production during this rainy season to generate income, which remains below average due mainly to the higher cost of fertilizers and treatment products. However, the slowdown in transport to Sahelian areas, which are now supplied by escort, is limiting internal flows and demand from traditional suppliers in production areas. Added to this is the decline in market visits by foreign buyers. As a result, sales prices for market garden produce were stable in September and lower than in the same period last year. For example, for tomatoes (the most widely grown rainfed crop), prices are stable in the Réo market (Centre-Oest) and down 9 percent in the Banfora market. Overall, higher fertilizer prices (55 percent above average) also contribute to lower profit margins from the sale of agricultural products. 

    In areas under blockade, or those most affected by insecurity, income from the sale of new crops is marginal due to poor production resulting from the reduction in the area sown. In these areas, most of the production is for own-consumption. Households tend to rely on remittances from out-of-town relatives or income from the sale of water, fodder, and wood.

    Food assistance: The number of communes under blockade has risen from around 15 in 2022 to around 30 in 2023. As a result, the need to deliver assistance by military escort or by air has increased, and the regularity of assistance is no longer guaranteed for many localities. In several areas, notably in the communes of Markoye, Arbinda, Kelbo, Mansila (in the Sahel region), Sollé in the Nord region, Kompienga (Est region), Bourzanga and Pensa (Centre-Nord region), and Kossi (Boucle du Mouhoun region), assistance remains infrequent and reaches only a small proportion of the population. Over the past three months, WFP's intervention plans have been cut by almost half for the commune of Djibo, due to logistical and security difficulties, as well as bad weather. The government was able to escort three months' worth of food to poor IDPs and guests in the communes of Djibo, Sebba, and Titao in May and in the commune of Gorom-Gorom in August. Some partners were also able to distribute vouchers in the communes of Sebba and Gorom-Gorom. Over the past three months, assistance has reached an average of 30 percent of the population in Djibo, 22 percent in Sebba, 34 percent in Gorom-Gorom, and 23 percent in Titao. In areas relatively more accessible to assistance, direct food and cash distributions were stepped up during the lean season. These include the communes of Kaya, Tougan, Ouahigouya, and Fada N'Gourma. The proportion of beneficiaries reached at least 22 percent of the population in these communes.

    Current Food Security Outcomes

    In blockaded areas, particularly in the northern half of the country, aid remains an important source of food for both host households and IDPs. Although it was insufficient in Djibo in September, limited harvests of cowpeas and millet, vegetable gardens, and collection products are helping to preserve the survival of populations exposed to Emergency (IPC Phase 4). However, the lack of firewood not available within the safety radius and the scarcity of condiments and oil have a negative impact on meal quality. In the commune of Arbinda (Soum province), shortages of foodstuffs on the market and the absence of assistance are pushing households to increase extreme survival strategies such as limiting the number of daily meals to one and reducing quantities, as the meager harvests of legumes and millet are not sufficient. According to key informants, the harvests have already run out for some households, which survive only by begging. In the communes of Titao, Gorom-Gorom, and Sebba, assistance is sufficient to prevent Emergency (IPC Phase 4), but IDPs and poor households continue to limit both the size and number of meals per day and are experiencing Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) acute food insecurity. In view of the high number of people facing a prolonged emergency, it is possible that some households are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), particularly in the communes of Djibo, Arbinda, Sebba, Kelbo, Markoye, Gorom-Gorom, and Titao.

    In all areas under blockade, SMART Rapid surveys conducted in July/August 2023 show a deterioration in the nutritional situation, with high or even very high GAM rates ranging from Severe (GAM 10–14.9 percent) to Critical (15–29.9 percent). This stems from a concerning household food situation and restricted availability of health services and nutrition initiatives such as vitamin A supplementation, deworming, and vaccination. Additionally, subpar hygiene and sanitation conditions persist, particularly in areas with a significant concentration of IDPs. 

    In urban centers with a large number of IDPs, notably the communes of Kaya, Tougan, Ouahigouya, and Fada N'Gourma, food assistance is more prevalent, and IDPs and poor host households have little income from small-scale trade, day labor, or market gardening to buy cereals sold at government-subsidized prices. These households are experiencing Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity.

    In the relatively calmer production areas of the south and west, poor households, including some IDPs, have access to new harvests (legumes, tubers, and maize) and consume at least two meals a day, experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity. Agricultural labor (for harvesting and preparing irrigated crop plots) offers income opportunities, especially for IDPs, and facilitates their access to the market. 


    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year
    Main harvest is from September until January. Off-season harvest is from January until March. Harvest of market gardening pro

    Source: FEWS NET

    Assumptions

    The most likely food security scenario from October 2023 to May 2024 is based on the following national-level assumptions:

    • Conflict and insecurity: Overall, the frequency and intensity of attacks by militant groups are expected to increase until the peak of the rainy season in July 2024, reaching record levels. Although the formation of the Alliance of Sahel States (ASS) should provide member states with a framework for collective defense and mutual assistance in the fight against terrorism, tensions in the tri-border area are likely to be exacerbated by frequent threats of political instability in the states, the departure of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) forces from Mali, the Algiers Agreement, which is currently being undermined by clashes between the Malian army and Tuareg armed groups, the breakdown of defense agreements between Niger and France, and the subsequent departure of French armed forces from Niger. While the FDS, supported by the VDP, should continue to carry out offensive operations and air strikes against ATG strongholds, the high tempo of military operations is not likely, in the short term, to wipe out ATGs' operational capabilities. 

    • Agropastoral outlook: The significant reduction in sown areas due to inaccessibility or abandonment of fields for reasons of insecurity (results of the joint SAP/Partners mission, September 2023) suggests that the outlook for agricultural production has decreased compared to the previous season and the average. In addition, the fodder deficit and the below-average level of water reservoirs could lead to a longer and more difficult pastoral hunger gap, particularly in the northern half of the country. 

    • Outlook for dry season production: With below-average reservoir levels in the Centre-Nord and Sahel regions, these water points are expected to dry up early, reducing off-season production to one cycle instead of two in a normal year. In regions where water availability is sufficient, the high cost of inputs (fertilizers, treatment products, fuel for motorized pumps) will limit the area sown, and insecurity will continue to limit access to certain production sites. Overall, production is expected to be below average, mainly between January and April. 

    • Lower agricultural incomes: Overall, and particularly in the areas most affected by insecurity, farm incomes will be below average between October and May. The ban on cereal and cowpea exports continues to erode cowpea prices, which are generally driven by demand from coastal countries. New harvests should help keep cowpea prices below average. Insecurity will continue to severely limit household access to non-timber forest product collection areas. Furthermore, despite a 5 percent increase in the purchase price of cotton compared with last season, the absence of fertilizer subsidies has pushed up production costs per hectare by around 69 percent compared with previous years, so that some growers have reduced the area sown. 

    • Decline in non-agricultural income: The inaccessibility of gold panning sites and the continued ban on access to these sites due to insecurity will continue to negatively impact income from this activity. Even though no reduction in daily rates is expected, the supply of labor in relatively quieter areas is likely to exceed demand. This will significantly reduce remittances from migration compared with normal levels. In addition, activities linked to self-employment, in particular the sale of firewood, charcoal, and straw, will continue to be affected by the insecurity that limits access to raw materials. 

    • Market functioning: The expected drop in national cereal production will have a negative impact on market supply overall. Insecurity will continue to restrict the flow of staple cereals from production areas to deficit regions such as the Nord, Sahel, and Centre-Nord, as well as certain communes in Est, Boucle du Mouhoun, and Hauts Bassins, where households have lacked access to their fields. Supply in these markets will remain below average due to long lead times caused by military escorts. 

      Imports of cereals, particularly maize, from coastal countries will remain below average, partly because of insecurity and partly because of the current ban on exports of cereals and cowpeas, discouraging traders from these countries, who generally bring in maize and leave with cowpeas. 

      Overall, demand will be average, dominated by institutional demand for the replenishment of security stocks and humanitarian response requirements.

      Household demand will remain typical throughout the period in the relatively calm southern and western regions. In areas with limited access, demand will be lower due to the low incomes of households, which will be mainly dependent on food assistance. Thus, between October and February, a seasonal downward trend in prices may be observed due to harvesting and assistance, but prices will remain above average (Figure 5). In blockaded areas, prices will remain above their seasonal averages and reach new record highs due to low market supply and high transportation costs. 

    Figure 5

    Projected price of white maize in the Sankaryaré market in Ouagadougou
    Projection du prix du maïs blanc sur le marché de Sankaryaré à Ouagadougou

    Source: FEWS NET

    • National economic situation: Notwithstanding a fall in annual inflation compared with last year, persistently high global prices for food (rice, wheat, oil) and non-food items (fertilizers, petroleum products, building materials), together with the appreciation of the dollar, will keep prices of manufactured and imported goods above average between October and May, with effects on domestic prices. These price increases, combined with increased taxes as part of the fight against insecurity, will continue to adversely affect the purchasing power of households, particularly the poor in urban centers. 

    • Food assistance: Assistance plans for 2024 are not yet available. However, direct food distribution by air is likely to be the main method of providing assistance to households over the coming months, given continuing insecurity, the disruption of markets, the ban on cash transfers in Sahel and Centre-Nord regions, and the long lead times for supplies to be delivered by military escort. Over the past five years, the volume of assistance has fallen between October and February, the period between the end of lean-season programs and the start of funding requests. To this periodic reduction should be added the security, financial, and logistical constraints on implementing this assistance. Given the growing number of localities under blockade and therefore dependent on supplies by escort or by air, the provision of assistance is likely to be insufficient and irregular between October and May, particularly in areas under blockade. 

    • Deterioration in the nutritional situation: The recent nutritional survey based on the SMART rapid methodology, carried out in July/August by the Nutrition Department and partners, revealed a deterioration in the nutritional situation of children under five in areas with a high presence of IDPs in Nord, Sahel, Centre-Nord, Boucle du Mouhoun, and Est regions. The continued closure or malfunctioning of health facilities will likely continue to limit people's access to healthcare and to programs for managing and preventing acute malnutrition. The nutritional situation will continue to give cause for concern and could gradually deteriorate between February and May, reaching critical levels typical of the lean season in April/May 2024 after households have exhausted their production stocks, particularly in areas where access to fields has been reduced. 

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Poor households and IDPs in blockaded communes in and around the Sahel region are likely to continue to face significant survival deficits during this harvest and post-harvest period until May 2024. In the commune of Djibo, 20 to 30 percent of households have been able to produce harvests from rainfed production. However, these meager harvests will not be enough to cover three months' needs, despite strategies to extend the duration of stocks, such as reducing both the size and number of meals. Given the increased erosion of assets due to the duration of the blockade, as well as the logistical and security constraints on market supply and the delivery of assistance, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes will persist, and the number of people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) is likely to increase over the period. Between February and May, market gardening production around the dam is likely to be compromised by the water drying up early. This activity will be limited to a production cycle on small surface areas, due to the lack of motor pumps and fuel. 

    In the other blockaded communes of the Sahel region, in particular Gorom-Gorom and Markoye (Oudalan province), Arbinda (Soum), and Sebba (Yagha province), harvests will not last more than three months, meaning that they will run out by December for the around 30 to 50 percent of households that have been able to produce. With the erosion of livestock assets, income from remittances and water and fodder sales will be insufficient to meet market needs. IDPs and poor host households will remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between October 2023 and May 2024. Extreme and prolonged consumption deficits will expose a proportion of people to Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). 

    Food access is expected to deteriorate in other areas also affected by insecurity and with a high presence of IDPs, namely the provinces of Yatenga and Loroum (Nord region), the provinces of the Centre-Nord region, the provinces of Gourma, Tapoa, Kompienga, and Komondjari (Est region), the provinces of Kossi and Sourou (Boucle du Mouhoun region), and the province of Koulpélogo (Centre-Est region). In fact, stocks from own-production will run out before January, and low incomes from day labor and small-scale trade will not be sufficient to avoid resorting to consuming less-preferred foods and reducing the quantity of food consumed, leading to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes between October 2023 and January 2024. The additional income expected from market gardening will not be enough to compensate for the absence of own cereal production, and a growing number of households are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity between February and May.

    In the relatively calm Sud and Oest zones, average harvests should provide a typical diet for poor households to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between October 2023 and May 2024. However, falling incomes will not ensure that their livelihoods are fully protected. IDPs in these areas will have relatively more income from labor, firewood and charcoal sales, and gold panning to obtain staple foods from markets. Some households have been able to produce in their host areas and will be able to live off their harvests until January. Overall, IDPs will be exposed to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity throughout the period.  

    Events that Might Change the Outlook

    Table 1
    Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most likely scenario
    AreaEventsImpact on food security outcomes
    Soum Province of the Sahel Region, Livelihood Zone BF07Even greater than expected reduction in already marginal food sources

    If fighting intensifies between the national armed forces and ATGs, reducing access to market gardening and wild products, or if logistical problems significantly reduce or prevent deliveries of food aid by air, it is highly probable that acute food insecurity levels would deteriorate rapidly. If conflict or financial and logistical factors lead to an even greater than expected reduction in already minimal household food sources, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely to occur.

    Although the situation remains most serious in Djibo, the blockades of Arbinda, Markoye, and Sebba have now been in place for over a year, and they are subject to infrequent market supply deliveries and difficult humanitarian access. Available information suggests that restrictions on population movement are relatively less severe in these areas, allowing a relatively higher level of cultivation, but only marginally. FEWS NET will continue to closely monitor the risk of a further deterioration in the severity of acute food insecurity in these areas. 

    Areas under blockadeFunding is assured for an increase in food aid beyond current planning.Increased air distribution or the resumption of cash transfers will help to increase aid coverage and reduce the consumption gaps among households. As a minimum, humanitarians should increase their aid to reach at least 25 percent of the population and cover at least 25 percent of their monthly kilocalorie needs in order to support the potential improvement from Emergency (IPC Phase 4) to Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) on a regular basis throughout the period. However, given that the blockade affects the majority of the population, and given the extent of the food consumption gaps, assistance levels should probably reach more than 25 percent of the population with at least a ration of 50 percent of their kilocalorie needs to prevent Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).
    NationalImproved security situationAn improvement in the security situation would encourage more movement to seek income or food opportunities, a gradual return of IDPs, and a better supply of staple foods to local markets, all of which could mitigate the rise in prices. This would also facilitate the deployment of aid, help to improve access to food, and reduce the wide food consumption gaps. Although this would not fundamentally change the level of asset erosion, poor IDPs and host households in areas previously affected by the conflict could remain in a situation of Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) acute food insecurity or lower because of the greater availability of assistance, as well as access to a few sources of food and income, in particular non-timber forest products and market garden production sites.

    Areas of concern

    Soum Province of the Sahel Region, Livelihood Zone BF07: North and East Livestock and Cereals

    Current Situation

    The Soum province has been under blockade for some 20 months, despite efforts to reclaim the territory by the defense forces. Population movements remain limited to a maximum radius of 2 km. Beyond this radius, people, especially men, are at high risk of being recruited or killed by armed terrorist groups (ATGs). This limits households' access to their usual sources of income and food. Women who take the risk of going further afield are often kidnapped or raped. The latest official figures released in March 2023 (SP/CONASUR) put the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at 298,442, with over 90 percent in Djibo, 5 percent in Arbinda, and 4 percent in Kelbo. According to key informants, the number of IDPs in Djibo dropped between April and October 2023 due to forced departures to calmer areas. However, basic social needs remain high, with strong pressure on the few resources available in the security radius. 

    Figure 6

    Reference map for the area concerned: Soum Province, Sahel Region, BFO7
    Carte de référence pour la zone concernée :   Soum Province, Sahel Région, BFO7

    Source: FEWS NET

    Limited access to fields due to insecurity means that host households and IDPs are unable to take advantage of the favorable rainfall this season. Harvests are expected to be lower than last year and below average and will not cover more than three months' consumption. According to key informants, around 30 percent of households in the commune of Djibo and 40 percent in Arbinda had access to part of their fields, mainly house fields, for agricultural production. However, households remain dependent on the market and food assistance.

    The usual sources of income remain inaccessible, given the virtual non-existence of agropastoral and income-generating activities in the region. Demand for agricultural and non-agricultural labor has significantly dropped due to previous livestock destocking, the inaccessibility of grazing areas, the ban on artisanal mining, and the reduction in typical livelihood activities and agricultural production. The main sources of income remain the sale of water and remittances from workers who have migrated permanently and relatives outside the province. These low incomes hardly cover the basic needs not covered by assistance, such as processing the food received into meals. In Arbinda, in addition to selling water and transfers, begging has become an obligatory means of earning income and finding food, according to key informants, given the low level of food assistance in the commune. 

    Supplies to the province's main markets continue to be conditional on convoys under military escort, due to the high risk of security incidents on the main roads linking these localities to other communes in provinces and regions. The increase in the number of communes under blockade this year has resulted in longer lead times to supply these markets. In Djibo, the province's main market, supply is well below the seasonal average. The last convoy under military escort to Djibo was on May 21, 2023, some four months after the market was supplied. However, the level of cereal supply has not fallen significantly due to weak demand. Households have little recourse to the market for their food, as they do not have sufficient resources to cope with high prices. What's more, the reduction in the quality and quantity of meals means that most of them have to make do with food distributions from humanitarian organizations, particularly the WFP. Despite weak demand, prices for staple cereals in September 2023 were up 64 percent, 74 percent, and 87 percent, respectively, for sorghum, maize, and millet, compared with the five-year average. At the beginning of October 2023, a large tomato tin, the locality's main unit of measurement, weighing around 1.8 kg, was selling for 700 XAF for white sorghum, 800 XAF for maize, 1,000 XAF for millet, and 1,250 XAF for imported rice, compared with 2,500 XAF for each at the same time last year . As for the Arbinda market, it experienced a total supply disruption in September and October. According to key informants, the last distribution was on August 24, 2023. 

    In addition to the closure of Djibo's main livestock market, trading between some livestock owners and local butchers was suspended in October due to the scarcity of livestock. The same applies to Arbinda. Looting by ATGs, previous destocking to acquire food supplies, the non-return of transhumants, and the impossibility of practicing pastoral activities are the main reasons for the absence of livestock in this pastoral zone. 

    In addition to the usual logistical difficulties faced by humanitarian aid workers, the rainy season is a further constraint on the delivery of food assistance. Between June and August, WFP assistance (by flight) and government assistance (by escort in May) reached around 43 percent of the Djibo population. However, in September the aid provided (mainly by WFP) reached only around 19 percent of the population, with 100 percent rations. Assistance was not possible in September in the commune of Arbinda.   

    In Djibo, despite food assistance and the increased use of foraged produce, poor households continue to adopt coping strategies such as reducing both the number of meals and the quantities of food consumed in order to make the food they receive last longer. These behaviors prevent market supply from being disrupted or assistance from being suspended for any reason. As a result, consumption gaps persist, keeping households at Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity. In the commune of Arbinda, key informants report shortages of agricultural produce on the market between late August and mid-October and an absence of humanitarian assistance since August. 

    This situation contributes to the deterioration in the nutritional status of children under five, whose care is inadequate due to frequent shortages of the inputs needed to treat malnutrition, owing to supply difficulties. Key informants report visible signs of malnutrition among the host population and even more so among IDPs, despite the distribution of fortified flour coupled with assistance to prevent cases of severe acute malnutrition. In Arbinda, the situation seems more worrying, according to key informants, even though the survey results have not been validated by the monitoring committee set up for the purpose.

    Suppositions

    Figure 7

    Projected price of millet on the Djibo market
    Projection du prix du mil sur le marché de Djibo

    Source: FEWS NET

    In addition to the national-level assumptions, the following assumptions apply to this area of concern:

    • Insecurity: With the end of the rainy season, the number of security incidents is likely to rise. The blockade of the province is likely to persist, limiting supplies to markets and the movement of people to access sources of food and income. 
    • Agropastoral production: The prospects for harvests this season will be lower than last year. This drop will be very pronounced compared with the average. These harvests will likely cover only one to three months of needs, running out by December at the latest. Market gardening can be carried out around the dam but in small areas and above ground, with limited access to seeds, fertilizers, fuel, and production equipment. What's more, the dam's water level is lower than last year's, and there is likely to be insufficient water for production until April. Between January and April last year, around 30 percent of households engaged in this activity. It is likely that this proportion will remain unchanged, resulting in a low availability of agricultural and market garden produce from January 2024 onward.
    • Income: The continued ban on artisanal mining exports and restrictions on movements will continue to limit access by IDPs and poor host households to usual sources of income throughout the scenario period. Between October and January, households will be able to generate limited income from water, charcoal, and firewood sales and will continue to receive higher remittances from workers who have permanently migrated or relatives outside the province. In the warm season between February and May, water sales could intensify. Similarly, households will be able to generate some income from the sale of vegetables. On the whole, incomes will not be sufficient to cope with the high prices of basic foodstuffs, and some households will continue to be dependent on remittances from migrants. 
    • Operation of the markets: During the scenario period, supplies to Djibo and Arbinda markets will remain dependent on convoys under military escort. Supply delays will remain long due to the risk of incidents and the increase in the number of blockaded areas also requiring supplies by escort. The persistence of the blockade will continue to limit supplies to the market. However, decreased household dependence on markets for basic foodstuffs will reduce the effects of any market disruptions.. As a result, prices will be below the previous year's level but above the seasonal averages throughout the scenario period (Figure 7). Households' purchasing power will remain weak due to low incomes amid high prices. Households' dependence on the market could increase from January onward, with the early depletion of own-produced stocks. The supply of livestock will be low or non-existent due to the erosion of holdings and will be insufficient to meet the demand of the city's butchers.
    • Food assistance: Air distribution will continue to be the preferred means of delivering food assistance. WFP assistance plans up to January 2024 should reach at least 25 percent of the population and cover at least 50 percent of their needs. However, logistical or security constraints could reduce coverage, as was the case in September, when 19 percent of the population was reached. Assistance for 2024 is not yet planned.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Food assistance and markets will continue to be the main sources of food for the majority of households in the province, particularly from February onward, as stocks from own-production run out early. Between October and January, households will rely on limited harvests and market garden produce. However, these sources will not be enough to meet household food consumption needs. The erosion of livelihood assets will limit poor households' access to products sold at high prices. The poor will then be forced to intensify their use of Emergency (IPC Phase 4) coping strategies between October and January 2024, including begging and increasing the frequency of days without food. It is likely that the early drying up of the dam between March and May will limit market gardening activities and thus deprive households of this food source. Intensifying the sale of water and the use of remittances will not be enough to prevent Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) outcomes. 

    Events that could change scenarios: If conflict or financial and logistical factors lead to an even greater than expected reduction in already minimal household food sources, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely to occur. Ultimately, donors, the government, and humanitarian partners must take steps to increase food aid deliveries and guarantee full humanitarian access in order to limit loss of life and avert the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5).

    Aid deliveries should also be accelerated for households in the commune of Arbinda, where market shortages and the exhaustion of marginal harvests are exposing the population to extreme variations in food consumption and an alarming increase in levels of acute malnutrition and mortality, given the visible signs of malnutrition already affecting a significant proportion of people, particularly women and children. Despite the risk of exactions by armed terrorist groups, collecting wild leaves for consumption could increase in this commune between October and May, as could forced population departures to more favorable areas.


     

    Oudalan, BF08 - North Transhumant Pastoralism and Millet (Figure 8)

    Current Situation

    Figure 8

    Reference map for the area concerned: Oudalan Province, Sahel Region, BFO8
    Carte de référence pour la zone concernée : Oudalan Province, Sahel Région, BFO8

    Source: FEWS NET

    The security situation in the province of Oudalan has deteriorated since the beginning of 2023, with the result that the population has abandoned three of the province's five communes. The populations are concentrated in the communes of Gorom-Gorom and Markoye. Armed terrorist groups (ATGs) continue to maintain pressure around these two towns, restricting the movement of people beyond 2 to 3 km and stealing livestock from households. Markoye has been accessible only by military escort since 2022. These escorts are often attacked by terrorists. The pressure on available resources in the town of Gorom-Gorom is increasing due to the growing number of displaced people. The official figure of 52,402 IDPs in the municipality as of  March 31, 2023, has been exceeded. Between April and September, the province saw the displacement of people from Oursi and Déou to Gorom-Gorom and Markoye. Access to basic social needs is limited, as are the usual sources of household income and food.

    In addition to limited access to fields, the late start to the cropping season, and the poor spatiotemporal distribution of rainfall created heterogeneity in the progress of the season within the province. According to key informants, around 50 percent of households had access to part of their fields in the commune of Gorom-Gorom and in Markoye. In addition, households in some places are harvesting crops before they have fully ripened due to attacks on crops, particularly millet, by granivorous birds and locusts, on the one hand, and the kidnapping or killing of people in their fields by ATGs, on the other. Current harvests will be able to cover only three to four months' consumption (compared with five to six months in a normal year) for the 50 percent of households that have been able to produce. The consumption period of these stocks could be shortened by sharing harvests in solidarity with friends and family. 

    The large-scale breeders who fled the area four years ago because of insecurity have not returned. Other breeders who have remained are subjected to looting by ATGs and to the constraints of abnormal destocking in order to meet their food requirements. As a result, livestock holdings are low, mainly in the communes of Gorom-Gorom and Markoye, and are mostly owned by middle-income households. While pasture regeneration is abundant in inaccessible areas, the few remaining animals exert high grazing pressure on the accessible areas around these towns.

    With traditional sources of income limited, agricultural labor for wealthy and middle-income households, livestock sales, bricklaying, and other project-related labor have become the main sources of income. Households also receive cash transfers from migrants or relatives living outside the province. Collecting and selling wild fonio is also a source of income for poor households. However, these incomes are below average due to the reduction in acreage, linked to difficulties in accessing fields, and the closure of certain projects in the locality due to insecurity. The ban on gold panning activities and cash distributions by humanitarian actors in the region is having a negative impact on household incomes. 

    Since June 2023, the Gorom-Gorom market has been supplied by convoys under military escort. Supply lead times vary from one week to one month, depending on security alerts on the risk of incidents on the Dori-Gorom-Gorom axis. The last supply by convoy was on September 29, 2023. Supply is down compared to 2022 and the seasonal average. Given the availability of early harvests, in particular early millet, and the presence of food aid, households, particularly hosts, have little recourse to the market for their food. This availability is reinforced by the higher-than-normal use by households, especially IDPs, of wild fonio, whose availability is much higher this year than in previous years due to reduced livestock pressure on grazing land in the province. Cereal prices are also relatively low compared to other blockaded areas. In September 2023, the price of millet, a local staple, was 405 XAF/kg in Gorom-Gorom and 426 XAF/kg in Markoye. These prices are slightly below their September 2022 levels but up by 30 and 43 percent, respectively, in Gorom-Gorom and Markoye compared with the five-year average. 

    The Markoye livestock market is not functioning, and the Gorom-Gorom market is operating at a minimum due to the low number of potential buyers, who usually come from the markets in Pouytenga, Ouagadougou, Dori, and Ghana. Supply is down from the pre-crisis average due to the loss of household assets. Demand, mainly local, is also lower than normal. Prices for small ruminants are down year-on-year at both the Gorom-Gorom and Markoye markets. The price of a ram varied from 75,000 XAF in October 2022 to 65,000 XAF in October 2023 in Gorom-Gorom. As for the price of a billy goat, it has fallen from 45,000 XAF in 2022 to 25,000 XAF in the same month of 2023. This decline is mainly due to weak demand, resulting from the low incomes of local buyers and the virtual absence of foreign buyers. 

    The people of Gorom-Gorom receive food aid from the WFP and other humanitarian NGOs working in the area. These humanitarian actions are reinforced by the government's social action services, which are transporting three months' worth of food to the population via escorts. Between July and September, assistance covered around 34 percent of the population with rations meeting at least 80 percent of their needs. However, this assistance is more present in Gorom-Gorom than in Markoye, where it is low. It helps to reduce beneficiary households' dependence on the market. 

    New cowpea harvests are available but only for the 50 percent of the population who cultivated. Despite the improvement in food availability, all poor households are adopting strategies to reduce the number of meals and quantities of food consumed. There are households in the province, particularly IDPs, who rely more than usual on wild fonio gathering and risk their lives by straying from the safety zone. These IDPs also beg from households with new harvests, as their meager income from water and firewood sales and the remittances they receive do not suffice to meet their market needs. In Markoye, the majority of poor households, especially IDPs, representing around 50 percent of these households, have no income to cope with the atypically high prices. Given the suspension of food assistance since June 2023, these people have been living on food gathering alone. Significant consumption gaps expose them to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity. This situation is contributing to a serious deterioration in the nutritional situation, with a high prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) of 14 percent in Gorom-Gorom, including a prevalence of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) of 3.3 percent, well above the WHO emergency threshold of 2 percent, according to the latest results of the SMART rapid survey carried out in July 2023. In addition to the difficult food situation, the pressure on basic social services, including nutrition programs already limited by difficulties in supplying health centers with the necessary inputs, is restricting the treatment of malnourished children.

    Assumptions

    In addition to national-level assumptions, the following assumptions apply to this area of concern:

    Insecurity: With the end of the rainy season, the number of security incidents is set to increase. Supplies to the province will remain dependent on military escorts for the duration of the scenario period. 

    Agropastoral production: Harvests for the current crop year are expected to be down from the previous year and from the average, due to the reduced area sown. This decline is linked to the limited access of households to their fields and to the abandonment of cultivation by populations forced to migrate to the relatively more secure communes of Gorom-Gorom and Markoye. In addition to these constraints, crop yields are expected to fall due to poorly distributed rainfall and attacks on crops by grasshoppers and granivorous birds, combined with limited access to agricultural inputs. There is a risk of crop looting by ATGs moving into villages in the Gorom-Gorom commune and destroying property. Market gardening activities are generally underdeveloped in the province and will remain limited due to travel and inaccessibility to production sites. 

    Income: No major change in household income is expected. The continuing ban on gold panning activities and restrictions on movements will continue to restrict households' access to their usual sources of income. Marginal income from the sale of cowpeas, millet, and wild fonio, as well as farm labor, will be available between October and January. From February and March onward, the sale of drinking water will be one of the main sources of income, reinforced by the sale of NTFPs (jubjub in particular). Income from the sale of NTFPs and firewood will be insufficient due to the high risk of security incidents in collection areas. Some households will depend exclusively on remittances received from relatives who have left or migrants. 

    Market operations: Insecurity will continue to disrupt market operations in Gorom-Gorom and Markoye, with markets in other communes closed. Supplies will be conditional on military escorts, and delays will depend on threats on the Dori-Gorom axis for supplies to Gorom-Gorom, and on the Gorom-Markoye axis for supplies to Markoye. Supply will remain below average, and poor households' access to markets will remain low. Households' dependence on the market will increase from February onward, as stocks from own-production dwindle and green vegetables become unavailable after the rainy season. Prices will remain above the previous year's levels and seasonal averages (Figure 9). 

    Cattle prices will remain below average despite low supply due to the absence of foreign buyers in the province. 

    Figure 9

    Projected price of millet on the Gorom-Gorom market
    Projection du prix du mil sur le marché de Gorom-Gorom

    Source: FEWS NET

    Food assistance: There are no plans for food distributions by air in the province between October and December. The food distributions carried out by the government and its partners in September covered three months' needs and only reached the commune of Gorom-Gorom. This assistance will only be enough to reach around 56 percent of the population by November. Plans for January to May 2024 assistance are not yet available. However, with the end of the lean season programs, assistance is likely to be insufficient and irregular, as was the case last year at the same time

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    ATG threats and atrocities will continue to limit people's access to their usual sources of income and food. Military escorts of goods to the main markets may not be regular, given the large number of areas under blockade requiring escorts. This would reduce food availability in the area and lead to atypical price increases. This would also limit livestock trade for those households that still own livestock, leading to a deterioration in the terms of trade between livestock and cereals.

    Between October and January, households, and especially hosts, will have access to limited harvests. In order to mitigate market supply disruptions and the suspension of food assistance, households will continue to reduce both the number and size of meals and to increasingly resort to begging to cope with the erosion of their livelihood assets. Significant food consumption gaps will keep them in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Between February and May, as stocks from own-production are depleted and incomes from water and fodder sales and remittances from relatives outside the province are low, poor households will be forced to observe extreme food restrictions, exposing a higher proportion of the population to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. Severe acute malnutrition, already at emergency levels, could deteriorate further, increasing the number of people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). 


    Most likely food security outcomes and areas receiving significant levels of humanitarian assistance

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Burkina Faso. Food security outlook October 2023 to May 2024: Food aid must be increased to save lives and end the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in Burkina Faso, 2023

    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

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