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An increase in households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the Northwest and Southwest due to an early lean season

  • Key Message Update
  • Cameroon
  • January 2021
An increase in households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the Northwest and Southwest due to an early lean season

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Although most households in the country still have enough of their own crops to enable them to maintain a typical diet until March, poor households in the conflict-affected Northwest and Southwest have already run out of their own stocks and are expected to face a premature lean period starting in February, due to below-average harvests in 2020, estimated to be 50 percent below average and 30 percent below production from 2019.

    • Decreased access to food is pushing poor households in the Northwest and Southwest regions to adopt crisis coping strategies such as reducing the number of meals per day and limiting food portions. In addition, the prices of staple foods which have remained well above their five-year averages and the low purchasing power of households expose more and more households Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, which will likely persist until new harvests in July 2021.

    • In the Far North, increased attacks by Boko Haram / ISWAP insurgent groups in early 2021 have caused increased displacement and limited market functioning. In addition, staple food prices are currently slightly higher than at the same time in 2018 and 2019. Although the off-season harvests starting in February are expected to supplement existing food stocks, harvests are likely to be below-average in Mayo Danay and Logone and Chari departments where flooding hampered off-season activities, reducing sorghum cultivation by about 3 to 5 percent compared to 2018 and 2019. Poor households in these departments and those affected by conflict in Mayo Tsanaga and Mayo Sava are expected to remain under Stress (IPC Phase 2) until May 2021.

    • In Mbere Department in the Adamawa Region, above average basic food prices, caused by increased demand from an influx of refugees from the Central African Republic, and lower than average income access due to a decline in economic activities following COVID-19, keep poor host households under Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. Maize prices in Meiganga are currently about 25 percent higher than in a normal year. A similar trend is observed in the departments of Menoua and Bamboutous in West region, which host displaced people from the North West and South West regions, where maize, potatoes and beans in the towns of Mbouda and Dschang are currently selling for 18 to 25 percent more than in the same period before the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West.

    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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