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Persistent violence in the Far North region maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes during the harvest

  • Key Message Update
  • Cameroon
  • November 2023
Persistent violence in the Far North region maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes during the harvest

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In the Far North region's Logone-et-Chari, Mayo-Sava, and Mayo-Tsanaga divisions, the ongoing harvests of main season cereals have supported improvements in acute food insecurity outcomes from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Most households can meet their minimum kilocalorie needs with improved access to sorghum, rice, maize, and legumes. Households who rely on market purchases of food are benefiting from seasonal price declines of 27.1 percent for sorghum and 13.9 percent for maize, although prices remain above the five-year average. Limited crop production and disrupted livestock sales due to the Islamist insurgency hinder households' ability to afford non-food essentials like healthcare and education. Worst-off households, especially those displaced multiple times due to conflicts, insecurity, and flooding, who cannot cultivate their own food or access food assistance, are likely already experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Between February and May 2024, area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to emerge once many household stocks have been exhausted. A small proportion of these households will likely face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.
    • Meanwhile, area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in the Northwest and Southwest regions, and the share of the population experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes is expected to increase through the peak of the lean season in May 2024. Due to persistent conflict and insecurity, agropastoral households faced a seventh consecutive below-average harvest and have likely already exhausted their stocks. As staple food prices continue to rise and household incomes remain limited, households' purchasing capacity is expected to decrease further as the lean season progresses. This will lead to even greater food consumption gaps and increase the use of negative coping strategies such as reducing meal frequency and relying more heavily on debt to buy food. Due to deteriorated livelihoods, worst-affected households will likely resort to selling any remaining productive assets or begging to get cash, with a small portion of the population likely to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.
    • In the Mberé division of the Adamawa region and the Kadey and Lom et Djerem divisions of the East, where most refugees from the Central African Republic are concentrated, area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to persist through May 2024. Some very poor households will likely experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, though they are assessed to comprise less than 20 percent of the population. Due to increased labor supply and competition for jobs and natural resources, poor households, including refugees and host communities, are expected to continue earning low incomes amid high staple food prices. Given elevated food prices, increased reliance on the market, and suppressed purchasing power, many households are expected to have to reduce essential non-food expenses on healthcare and education.
    • Poor urban households in Yaoundé and Douala who mostly rely on food purchases will likely continue struggling to meet their minimum daily calorie requirements given seasonally rising and above-average staple food prices. Due to the high demand for purchased food, staple food prices in urban centers remain higher than in peri-urban and rural reference markets. Poor households are likely to reduce spending on essential non-food expenses like health care and education, and very poor households will likely reduce meal portions and frequencies. Area-level outcomes are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in these cities. On the other hand, most areas of the country not affected by conflict or insecurity are expected to continue facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity until mid-2024. It is assessed that in these areas, many poor households will be able to maintain normal levels of food consumption and access essential non-food needs without resorting to unsustainable strategies, thanks to access to average levels of own-harvested food stocks and income from crop sales, agricultural labor, and typical off-farm employment. The moderate El Nino observed over previous months did not have a significant impact on the 2023/24 season.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Cameroon Key Message Update November 2023: Persistent violence in the Far North region maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes during the harvest, 2023.

    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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