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Commercial activities continue to be disrupted in conflict areas, reducing household incomes

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • June 2020
Commercial activities continue to be disrupted in conflict areas, reducing household incomes

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite the good rainfall prospects which point to an above-average harvest, the combination of several factors including a possible locust invasion, likely attacks by the fall armyworm, civil insecurity which reduces normal access to cropland, and limited access to agricultural inputs in some areas due to COVID-19 restrictions could lead to localized production declines. The availability of pasture remains very low in Mauritania, Senegal, and locally in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Chad.  Transhumance is already disrupted in central Mali and on the border with Mauritania, in the Liptako-Gourma region, the Lake Chad basin, and northern Nigeria by civil insecurity is further disrupted in the region by COVID-19 restrictions, including border closures.

    • Market supplies remained sufficient to meet demand, which remained low. However, they are still below last year's levels due to production shortfalls in several regions, continued insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin, Tibesti, and Liptako-Gourma regions, and the closure of Nigeria's land borders since August 2019. COVID-19 restrictions have reduced trade activities and cross-border flows. Prices are above last year's levels, but below average in general, except in areas affected by trade deficits and disruptions. However, local and imported rice prices are well above average in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where currency depreciation and inflation were already high. Livestock supply is above average in areas of poor pastoral conditions (where selloffs for survival purposes are occurring in some places), negatively affecting the incomes of pastoral households.

    • Looking ahead, market supply will decrease seasonally with the onset of the lean season but will remain sufficient to meet demand. Intra-regional trade and the supply of imported products will remain dependent on COVID-19 restrictions. With the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, the likely increase in contamination beyond the capitals could lead to localized restrictions, further affecting markets and trade. Local commodity prices are likely to be close to average, except in deficit and conflict areas.

    • The majority of areas will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until September 2020 and in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) for some. However, the persistence of insecurity and armed conflict in the region will continue to increase the number of internally displaced persons (700,000 in November 2019 to over 1,060,000 in March 2020) and worsen household food security conditions. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will prevail until September in the Tillabéry region in Niger, the Centre-North and Sahel regions, and the provinces of Loroum, Komondjari and Gnagna in Burkina Faso, the Western Sahel and Liptako Gourma in Mali, eastern CAR, and the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. Households in north-eastern Nigeria affected by the Boko Haram conflict continue to depend on humanitarian assistance for access to food and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) particularly in Borno State and secondarily Yobe State. In adjacent areas that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, the food situation would be similar or worse.

    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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