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Expectations of average to above-average harvests throughout the region due to continued rainfall into October

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • October 2015
Expectations of average to above-average harvests throughout the region due to continued rainfall into October

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Average to above-average rainfall, particularly in the Western Basin, has continued locally in the Sahel into the month of October. As a result, crops have generally had enough time to complete their growing cycles despite a late start to the rainy season this year. However, in the bimodal zone, the start of the second growing season has experiences some delays.    

    • Harvests are ongoing and should be globally average to above-average in the region. However, slightly below-average harvests will be observed locally in Chad, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Ghana, and the extreme north of Burkina Faso due to a late start to the season, dry spells, and an early end to the rains. Localized declines in production will also be observed in Mali due to flooding and in Nigeria due to flooding, conflicts, and below-average rainfall, depending on the area.

    • Market functioning is currently satisfactory and prices are either similar to or below the five-year average. Livestock-to-cereal terms of trade are also favorable for pastoralists in the region. Household food consumption is generally normalizing, even for poor households, with the ongoing harvests, increased milk availability compared to July/August levels, and additional income-generating opportunities from crop sales and agricultural labor work.

    • The majority of households will continue to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through March 2016. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will persist through March 2016 in localized areas of Niger and Mauritania, as well as, between January and March 2016, in certain zones of Chad and Mali that were either flood affected or where crops didn’t complete their growing cycle.

    • In northeastern Nigeria and neighboring areas of Niger, food access is still a concern for many households despite the ongoing harvests due to conflict-related losses to their livelihoods. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity will persist in these areas through March 2016. Similar outcomes are also expected in the Central African Republic where there has been a resumption of violence and where humanitarian assistance coverage is reduced due to violence along roads and in villages.

    • In the countries affected by Ebola, food security outcomes are generally improving, despite several new cases of Ebola, with the ongoing harvests. Consequently, most households in Guinea and Liberia will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through March 2016. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, however, will continue in certain areas of Sierra Leone due to the continuation of atypically weak household purchasing power.

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    Figure 1

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    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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