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High food insecurity levels in conflict zones due to insecurity and rising prices

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • December 2023
High food insecurity levels in conflict zones due to insecurity and rising prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The season is progressing normally in Sahelian countries, with market garden crops already available, providing income for households. However, in areas affected by insecurity and conflict in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, access to cultivation sites and agricultural inputs remains limited for households.
    • The insecurity crisis persists in the Sahel and continues to lead to population movements. In November 2023, 3021,024 displaced people were registered in the central Sahel and Liptako-Gourma, 70 percent of them in Burkina Faso. In the Lake Chad basin, 5,990,879 displaced people were registered, 75 percent of them in Nigeria (IOM). Livelihoods, market-related activities, trade, transhumance movements, and access to basic social services are severely disrupted in these areas.
    • Staple food prices fell from October to November in most markets, as harvests boosted supplies. However, in the Sahel, price declines were less pronounced, with even some early increases attributed to the limited performance of rainfed harvests, reduced stocks, and various trade barriers—notably the sanctions imposed on Niger by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In addition, annual inflation in Nigeria has continued to rise due to the removal of fuel subsidies and the persistent depreciation of the naira. Current above-average prices in the region are expected to persist throughout the marketing year, mainly due to below-average supplies, sustained demand, limited humanitarian aid, insecurity, trade disruptions, and macroeconomic challenges.
    • The majority of areas are expected to continue experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes until May 2024, while some will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. Due to persistent insecurity and armed conflict and deteriorating livelihoods, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are currently affecting the provinces of Kossi, Sourou, Yatenga, Séno, Komondjari, Gourma, Kompienga, Sanmatenga, and northern provinces of Bam and Namentenga in Burkina Faso, the Ménaka region and the south of Gao in Mali, the Diffa region, the north of Tahoua, the north, west, and south of the Tillaberi region, and the south of Maradi, in Niger, the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon, the provinces of Lac, Kenem, Barh El Gazel, Tibesti, Ennedi West, Ennedi East, Wadifira, Ouaddaï East, and Sila West in Chad, LGAs in the states of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Yobe, Borno, and the far north of Adamawa state in Nigeria. These outcomes are expected to persist throughout the scenario period from February to May in Tapoa province in the eastern region and the whole of Bam province in Burkina Faso, the north and west of the Far North region in Cameroon, the provinces of Borkou, the whole of Ouaddaï and Sila, and the eastern part of Guera in Chad, as well as in several other LGAs in the states of Sokoto, Niger, Plateau, and Borno in Nigeria.
    • Due to limited household food stocks and limited access to markets and humanitarian aid, the Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes currently observed in the provinces of Lorum, Soum, Oudalan, and Yagha in Burkina Faso and in inaccessible LGAs in the northeastern states of Nigeria (Abadam, Guzamala, Marte, Bama) are expected to persist until May. From February onward, this level of food insecurity will extend to the Séno province in Burkina Faso's Sahel region. As for the Djibo commune in Burkina Faso, which has been under blockade for almost two years, FEWS NET considers that the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) remains present due to even greater-than-expected reductions in already minimal household food access as a result of conflict and financial and logistical factors. 

    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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