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Persisting insecurity and high staple food prices limit household access to food in conflict-affected areas

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • April 2024
Persisting insecurity and high staple food prices limit household access to food in conflict-affected areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Moderate rains recorded in April in the Gulf of Guinea allowed for the continuation of sowing. These rains also affected some areas in the extreme south of Mali and west of Burkina Faso where moisture conditions were conducive for sowing in April. Generally, soil preparation is underway in the Sudanian zones of the Sahel countries, and more sowing will be possible from May. On the pastoral front, livestock conditions remain marked by the depletion of pastures in the Sahelian zones and the drop in water levels in some rivers and water points. This situation is particularly concerning in the pastoral areas of Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal, which have recorded very low pasture production. As a result, there is a deterioration in livestock body condition and a drop in prices, especially for small ruminants. The increase in demand for Tabaski in June could raise prices, but this will not benefit poor households in insecure areas due to low livestock numbers.
    • Conflict persists in the Sahel and continues to cause population displacement, although returns of displaced persons are increasingly recorded in some places. In April 2024, 3,135,099 displaced persons were registered in the central Sahel and the Liptako-Gourma, with 67 percent in Burkina Faso, and 6,089,049 displaced persons in the Lake Chad Basin, with 74 percent in Nigeria (IOM). Livelihoods, market-related activities, trade, transhumance movements, and access to basic social services are severely disrupted in these areas. There is an increasing spread of this insecurity towards coastal countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin), with approximately 119,839 displaced persons assessed in April 2024 (IOM).
    • Cereal prices remained stable or increased from March to April 2024 due to seasonal stock depletion and rising demand. Prices remained significantly higher than their five-year averages due to reduced supplies, limited stocks, high production and transport costs, insecurity, and ongoing cross-border restrictions. Prices also exceeded last year's levels in Niger due to significant deficits and in some parts of Chad due to increased transport costs and demand linked to the influx of refugees from neighboring Sudan. In Nigeria, overall inflation accelerated for the 16th consecutive month, reaching 33.69 percent in April 2024, a nearly 30-year high in a context of naira depreciation and rising fuel prices. Prices are expected to remain above average throughout the region until the end of the lean season.
    • Most areas will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until September 2024. In areas affected by conflict, the ongoing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, particularly in the provinces of Kossi, Sourou, Yatenga, Séno, Sanmatenga, northern Bam, northern Namentenga, Komondjari, Gourma Tapoa, and Kompienga in Burkina Faso, the north and west regions of Tahoua and Tillabéry in Niger, the regions of Kanem, Bar el Gazel, Borkou, Tibesti, Ennedi East and West, Wadi Fira, Ouaddaï, and Sila in Chad, the southern Gao region in Mali, Borno State, and parts of Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Plateau in Nigeria, and in the Far North of Cameroon, will persist until May 2024. From June to September, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will extend to other provinces in Burkina Faso (Bam, Gnagna, Koulpelogo), the Hadjer Lamis region in Chad, and other LGAs in the aforementioned states and Niger State in Nigeria. In the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, Crisis (IPC Phase 3)  will see a slight improvement from June/July with new harvests allowing households to move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
    • The Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes currently observed in the provinces of Lorum, Soum, Oudalan, and Yagha in Burkina Faso, Ménaka in Mali, and inaccessible LGAs in the northeastern states of Nigeria (Abadam, Guzamala, Marte, Bama) will persist until September due to limited household food stocks and restricted access to markets and humanitarian aid. From June, this level of food insecurity will spread to the Séno province, currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso. However, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes remain the most likely scenario, given the depletion of most income sources and persistent consumption gaps. These outcomes will worsen during the lean season, with an expansion of areas in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) across the northern country, as well as an increase in populations in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in the most inaccessible areas and in Ménaka, Mali.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. West Africa Key Message Update April 2024: Persisting insecurity and high staple food prices limit household access to food in conflict-affected areas, 2024.

    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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