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Floods and high prices further expose poor households to acute food insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • Cameroon
  • September 2020
Floods and high prices further expose poor households to acute food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite the start of harvests in the Far North, staple food prices have remained atypically high since July, with maize and sorghum prices rising 40 percent from the same period last year. In addition to the high prices that usually accompany the lean season when stocks run out, recent price increases have also been associated with large exports to neighboring countries. The government’s ban on grain exports from this region to neighboring countries between July and November 2020 does not appear to have stabilized prices in major markets.

    • The cumulative effect of widespread flooding and ongoing price increases in the Far North further limits access to food for poor households already made vulnerable by insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic and exposes them to food insecurity from Stressed (IPC Phase 2). About 5,500 people, as well as livestock and crops, were already affected when the flooding began in August in Mayo Danay Department (OCHA Aug 2020), and an estimated 28,000 people are expected to be affected (UNITAR 11 September 2020), including significant losses of crops, livestock and property.

    • Although current prices are higher than in years without conflict, recent harvests are stabilizing current prices of most staple foods in the Northwest and Southwest. The prices of maize, beans and potatoes decreased slightly (on average <7percent) compared to the lean months, with the exception of the prices of imported rice which remained 30percent higher than in years without conflict.

    • Income from the harvests remain below average in conflict regions, after four consecutive years of below average production. In addition to reduced market access, the poor functioning and closure of agro-processing units (for rice, palms, cassava, coffee, cocoa) have hampered the creation of added value and opportunities for increased income and employment for poor households. The sale of wood and charcoal, petty trade (in non-agricultural products) and other temporary jobs remain alternative but inadequate sources of income for poor households in these regions which find themselves in food insecurity of Stress (IPC Phase 2) until October.

    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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