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Delayed supply convoys put pressure on scarce resources in inaccessible areas

  • Key Message Update
  • Burkina Faso
  • May 2024
Delayed supply convoys put pressure on scarce resources in inaccessible areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • As of May, some 30 localities in the north and east of Burkina Faso remain inaccessible only by military escort or helicopter. Although the security radius around certain key areas such as Djibo has improved since the start of the year, households are still dependent on the market or humanitarian aid for the majority of their food requirements at this early stage of the lean season. Although the most likely assumption remains that markets will be supplied on average every three months, delays in market supply convoys that extend beyond this period are likely to result in a rapid increase in the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and worse outcomes. According to trends observed since the beginning of 2023, when there are delays in convoy supplies or pauses in humanitarian assistance lasting more than three to four months, food shortages increase in markets. Given the volatile situation in northern Burkina Faso and the precarious access of households to most sources of food and income, FEWS NET will continue to update its analysis of the various inaccessible areas on a monthly basis.
    • In the province of Oudalan, although escorted convoys are no longer needed to supply the main market of Gorom-Gorom, most households do not have enough income to buy food from markets. As of May, there has been an increase in the number of households resorting to collecting grass, firewood, and water for sale in order to have enough income to buy grain on the market. Some displaced households have returned to their villages of origin, where they hope for more opportunities to access wild products. Key informants report that stocks from food assistance delivered between November 2023 and February 2024 are exhausted, despite strict household management. In addition, key informants report an increase in cases of begging and visible signs of malnutrition among children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Added to this are heat waves, which further weaken the health of the elderly, already weakened by the food shortage as they often limit their consumption in favor of children. Poor households face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes. 
    • In the commune of Djibo in the Soum region, the government was able to reinforce its stocks in Djibo with escort supplies in April 2024. The free food distribution currently underway is benefiting at least half the town's population and will meet at least 50 percent of their needs for the month of May. In addition, with the sale of cereals at subsidized prices, the majority of households are able to purchase a 50 kg bag of maize with income from cash transfers received from relatives and small businesses and the sale of wood and water. Escort supplies and free food distribution are helping to reduce households’ reliance on the market, which, according to key informants, will extend the duration of merchant stocks beyond the next three months. Nevertheless, following the slowdown in market-garden production around the dam, populations continue to limit the number and size of meals and continue to face Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes. 
    • In the commune of Titao in Loroum, market gardening around the Titao dam used to be an important source of food for poor households. However, with the dam drying up in April, poor households are limiting their meal portions and regularly going days without food. According to key informants, although around 40 percent of IDP households and 25 percent of host households receive monthly cash transfers from relatives, this income is not sufficient to make up for the shortfall in income due to the absence of foreign buyers and the drop in market garden production. What's more, income from sales made during the last escort of transporters three months ago has been exhausted or is insufficient to purchase cereals at high market prices. Although market gardening is picking up again thanks to the early rains recorded in May, households still have to wait until June for the first vegetable harvests. Poor households in the area thus remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). 
    • In other areas facing insecurity, markets are still dependent on secure escort supplies, although in some Sahelian towns (Dori, Gorom-Gorom), traders are able to use alternative routes in the absence of military escorts. However, this option will be less available as the rains make the roads impassable. Market supply remains satisfactory overall, and staple grain prices in April were around 30 percent above the five-year average, although similar to last year's levels. However, due to supply difficulties and high transportation costs, prices continue to be atypically high compared to the five-year average, particularly in the Kompienga and Sebba markets, with variations of 103 percent for maize and 98 percent for sorghum, respectively. The commune of Sebba remains in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), while the other areas remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Burkina Faso Key Message Update May 2024: Delayed supply convoys put pressure on scarce resources in inaccessible areas, 2024.

    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.

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