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Increased areas facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burkina Faso
  • October 2019
Increased areas facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through May 2020
  • Key Messages
    • Security incidents against security forces and civilians have occurred almost daily in recent months, forcing people to abandon their fields in and around the Sahelian area. Despite this harvest period and ongoing assistance, areas in which internally displaced persons (IDPs) account for more than 20 percent of the population (Soum, Oudalan, Sanmatenga, Bam, Loroum provinces) will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity until January, which at worst could become Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and May.

    • Insecurity caused less areas to be cultivated during the season and continues to deprive households of new harvests. In the north and northeast of the country, the longer dry spells in September have severely impacted crop yields and pastureland. Elsewhere, the prolonged rains in October have damaged grains, resulting in crop losses.  The combined effects of these factors will result in below-average agricultural production in the north of the country. 

    • In the more stable regions of the central, southern and western parts of the country, households have access to new harvests. In these regions, markets are functioning with an above-average level of supplies, due to significant stocks among traders. Cereal prices fell overall by about 30 percent compared with the previous year and by 20 percent compared with the five-year average.





    • Security incidents are affecting all parts of the country and have internally displaced 486,000 people (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 8 October). The increase in IDPs has been 20 percent per month since the beginning of the year.

    • In the more stable areas, rainfall was generally satisfactory, despite the season’s late start and localized flooding. However, prolonged rains throughout October resulted in crop losses, especially of cowpeas, sesame and maize, and also deteriorated pastureland. 

    • Malgré les mesures sécuritaires prises par le gouvernement, notamment l’instauration de l’état d’urgence depuis mars et de couvre-feu en cours dans plusieurs régions, les attaques et menaces terroristes continuent de s’étendre. Le nombre de PDIs, pourrait probablement s’augmenter dans les prochains mois et atteindre 700 000 d’ici mai.
    • Les besoins d’assistance aux PDIs vont accroitre la demande institutionnelle de céréales sur les marchés. Avec des productions attendues en-dessous de la moyenne, les prix des denrées de base pourraient évoluer à des niveaux similaires ou supérieurs à la moyenne quinquennale.

    Livelihood zones 7, 8 and 5

    • The number of IDPs has increased, mainly in the provincial capitals of Soum, Oudalan, Loroum, Bam and Sanmatenga, where they account for more than 20 percent of the population. August and September were particularly marked by increased terrorist attacks, with 21 and 25 incidents, respectively, resulting in 106 deaths across six regions (West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), September 2019). These incidents have occurred almost daily since the beginning of October.

    • As a result of terrorist attacks and threats, agricultural activities have reduced by around 70 percent in most communes in these livelihood zones.

    • In the northern and northeastern regions, rains were scarce in September during the crops’ critical growing phase. This is negatively impacting production in areas that people were able to cultivate.  

    • The decline in agricultural production will be greater in these livelihood areas, as access to fields has remained limited since the beginning of the season and during this harvest period, with households forced to abandon crops due to terrorist attacks and threats.

    • In addition to agricultural production, insecurity will also lead to a loss of other livelihoods, such as the loss or selling-off of animals and the decline in income from gold mining following the abandonment of sites. Humanitarian assistance is expected to be the main recourse for populations in the coming months.

    • The breakdown of trade flows between the north and the rest of the country will continue due to the ongoing deterioration of the security situation. In addition, the degradation of pastureland and limited access to grazing will lead to early transhumance from December to southern regions and coastal countries.


    Projected Outlook Through May 2020


    At the national level

    A number of factors are impacting the current growing season, in particular, the late start to the season, due to the dry spell in June; flooding in some western production areas in August; the decrease in cultivated areas and the abandonment of harvests in the north due to insecurity; the dry spells in September; and localized crop losses following prolonged rains. Agricultural production will therefore be below average throughout the country.

    Cereal prices will remain 20 percent below the five-year average thanks to traders’ abundant stock and households’ reduced demand as a result of their access to new harvests.

    The continued increase in the number of IDPs and their dependency on assistance will require the Government and market partners to increase their food purchases. Security stocks currently replenished to their usual level will not be sufficient to meet the needs of IDPs that have not been able to engage in production and of host households that continue to abandon their crops. This additional demand, combined with the localized decline in production, may lead to a rise in staple food prices to average or above-average levels following the harvest.

    Increasingly large flows of IDPs to urban areas will put strong pressure on the demand for employment in these areas, where the economic situation is already marked by a slowdown of businesses and higher taxation. This lack of opportunity could increase migration to neighboring countries.

    However, despite localized declines in production, households in more stable regions will have sufficient stocks to live as normal until May. During this period, most household income will come as usual from the sale of cash crops (sesame, groundnuts, cotton, cowpeas) and market garden crops, as well as from gold mining activities. These areas will therefore remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1)acute food insecurity  until May 2020.

    Livelihood zones 8, 7 and 5

    In these areas, livelihoods are usually based on transhumance and millet production in the north and livestock farming, sorghum production, market gardening and gold mining in the center and south. These areas are more affected by terrorist attacks and threats. Since the beginning of the year, the number of IDPs has increased on average 20 percent per month, especially in the provinces of Soum and Sanmatenga. During the second half of the year, the deteriorating security situation spread to the neighboring provinces of Loroum, Oudalan and Bam. Population movements are also limited in the provinces of Séno, Yagha, Namentenga, Gnagna and Komondjari.  At the beginning of October, the number of IDPs exceeded 20 percent of the population in several communes in these livelihood zones. In the Djibo commune, for example, the proportion of IDPs is 99 percent.

    At the beginning of the season, agricultural activities had declined by around 70 percent in most communes in Soum province and by around 20–50 percent in neighboring communes. With incidents occurring almost daily since August, people are abandoning their fields and crops. In the north and northeast of the country, dry spells of two to three weeks were observed in September during the flowering phase, which is resulting in low crop yields. This rainfall deficit has also accelerated the deterioration of pastureland, thus limiting access to grazing. As a result, transhumance departures will occur earlier in December, rather than in February. The pastoral lean season may be more difficult from February onward, with livestock farmers having to increase purchases of agro-industrial by-products at markets.

    In addition, populations that have been able to move with their livestock are forced to sell off their animals at the local markets of the receiving areas. At the Djibo market, the supply of goats increased by about 16 percent compared with the average. Despite the presence of domestic and foreign buyers at markets (Ghanaians and Ivorians), prices fell by 18 percent in September compared with the five-year average. With the continued flow of IDPs to urban centers, supplies are expected to increase in the coming months. Given the likely deterioration of animals’ physical condition during the pastoral lean season, prices are expected to further decline between February and May 2020.

    Ongoing and planned food assistance until December in the form of food and cash is mostly distributed in more accessible urban centers. This assistance is expected to reach 487,167 IDPs and hosts, with 61,315 people receiving food or cash vouchers and 425,852 people receiving a food basket that covers 2,100 kcals. In the provinces most affected by insecurity (Soum, Loroum, Oudalan, Bam and Sanmatenga), the assistance covers 100 percent of IDPs, which in terms of the entire country, represents 21 percent for Soum, 30 percent for Sanmatenga and 11 percent on average for the other provinces. Poor harvests and assistance will place IDPs and host households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity between October and January. Beyond January, the loss of household assets, crop depletion and limited access to income sources will continue to negatively impact the livelihoods of IDPs and host populations. In addition, the closure or slowdown of health centers, limited access to areas for adequate implementation of programs to prevent malnutrition, and the deterioration of household food consumption are likely to increase the prevalence of malnutrition above the SMART thresholds observed from September to October 2018 (8.9 percent in the Centre-Nord region and 12.6 in the Sahel region).

    Without income and necessary assistance, IDPs and host populations in the provinces of Soum, Loroum, Oudalan, Sanmatenga and Bam will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3)acute food insecurity  or worse between February and May.  In neighboring provinces (Séno, Yagha, Gnagna, Komondjari), Stressed (IPC Phase 2)acute food insecurity  or worse may be observed during the same period. 

    Figures Carte des Anomalies NDVI à la première décade de septembre: zones de 70 a 95 pourcent de la moyenne dans tout le pays

    Figure 1

    Figure 1.

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Burkina Faso Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year  Mid-May to mid-October is the rainy season. September to January is the ma

    Figure 2


    Source: FEWS NET

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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