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The ongoing harvest is improving food security in the Northwest and Southwest

  • Key Message Update
  • Cameroon
  • July 2020
The ongoing harvest is improving food security in the Northwest and Southwest

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • As of July 29th 2020, Cameroon has recorded 17,179 cases of COVID-19 and 391 deaths. The increased rate of spread of COVID-19 in Cameroon, with the associated risks of contamination, along with the measures in place to limit the spread of the virus, continue to slow the economy. The loss of jobs and reduced daily income is reducing the purchasing power of poor households, especially those in urban centers of Yaounde and Douala, such as urban refugees, internally displaced people, and people living below the poverty line who typically work in the informal sector. According to the government survey on the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in May 2020, more than 50 percent of households recorded a loss of income of more than 50 percent, especially sectors including education, hospitality, restaurant, forestry, and construction.

    • In the Northwest and Southwest, poor households continue to be exposed to acute food insecurity as below-average crop production for the fourth consecutive year is resulting in reduced income earning opportunities and is reducing their purchasing power. However, food security conditions are improving with the seasonal harvest underway since early July. Although current prices for staple foods remain high compared to normal, they fell by 6 percent in July compared to June. Poor households are anticipated to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through September 2020.

    • In the Far North, recurrent attacks by Boko Haram in the departments of Logone& Chari, Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga, combined with the looting of crops and livestock worsen the food security of poor households. These households continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity due to seasonal household stock depletion and increased reliance on markets for food during the lean season. Although market supply of staple food is stable, prices are at their seasonal high, which affects access to food for poor households. For example, the price of sorghum is currently 20-30 percent higher than last month.

    • The agricultural season continues with satisfactory rainfall since April, favoring average crop production in the country. The start of the rainy season in late May to June in the Far North marked the start of sowing for grains, while preparations are also underway for the start of sowing for vegetables. However, in the Northwest and Southwest regions, although rainfall has been favorable to support agricultural production, continued insecurity continues to limit access to cultivated agricultural land by 30-60 percent for some crops such as maize and rice, leading to a fourth consecutive year of below-average production.

    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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