Key Message Update

Elevated levels of food insecurity continue in regions exposed to conflict

December 2015
2015-Q4-12-24-west-africa-en

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Nigeria.
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The provisional 2015/16 cereal production estimates for West Africa (including Chad), developed by CILSS in November 2015, indicate that regional production was approximately 63,630,000 tons, which represents a 12 percent increase compared to the average. However, the countries of Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, and Ghana experienced declines in production of 10 percent, 8 percent, 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. With the exception of Chad, these production shortfalls are expected to have only limited impacts of food security outcomes within these countries.  

  • Markets are sufficiently supplied and demand is weak due to the new harvests, which is maintaining prices at levels similar to average. However, price increases ranging from 14 to 42 percent have been noted locally in Benin, Togo, Chad, and Mauritania. Additionally, in Ghana, price increases have reached 80 percent due in part to the depreciation of the local currency. These prices increases could negatively impact food access and become a source for concern if they continue into the period of the year when households are most market dependent, which will start in April. 

  • Household food consumption continues to improve and diversify for the majority of households due to the good, ongoing harvests and typical livelihood strategies. As a result, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is widespread throughout the region and will continue in most areas until the end of March 2016. 

  • However, a couple of areas of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity exist locally in Niger and Mauritania due to the residuals effects of last year’s poor season and civil insecurity in eastern Niger. These Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will become more widespread throughout the region during the January and March 2016 period, spreading into parts of Chad, Niger, and Mali that had poor pastoral production in 2015. 

  • In northeastern Nigeria and neighboring areas of Niger and Chad, civil insecurity is reducing livelihoods activities and food access despite the ongoing harvests. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity will continue there until March 2016 due to the effects of below-average incomes and crop production, as well as poor market functioning. Similar food security outcomes are also expected in the Central African Republic as the resumption of conflict is reducing coverage of humanitarian assistance. 

  • In Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the Ebola outbreak is coming to an end. With the new harvests and the normalization of economic activities, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity will be maintained through March 2016 in most areas. An exception, however, are localized areas of Sierra Leone where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity will exist due to insufficient purchasing power to allow households to cover their basic nonfood expenditures. 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics