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Harvests are expected to be average to above-average regionally, with some localized areas below-average

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • September 2019
Harvests are expected to be average to above-average regionally, with some localized areas below-average

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The first two dekads of September were marked by a slowdown in rainfall, which in some places caused crops to wilt. Cumulative seasonal rainfall remains slightly higher than average in the region, with moderate to severe deficits in western Mali, western Mauritania and northern Senegal despite the improvement in rainfall in these areas from August onwards. Cereals are nearly mature, with early harvests of maize, millet, cowpea, groundnuts and voandzou already ongoing. Attacks by fall armyworm and grasshoppers are reported in the region, but with limited damage.

    • The PREGEC meeting held in Accra in September 2019 estimated good end-of-season prospects, with 2019/20 harvests generally average or even above average by 12 to 20 percent. Nevertheless, in the areas affected by insecurity in Liptako Gourma, production is reported to be below average. Pastures and water points are available for livestock feed. However, pasture development is considered only fair in some parts of the Sahel and is much more worrying in western Mauritania and northern Senegal for a third consecutive year. In the Liptako-Gourma region and the greater Lake Chad basin, livestock movements continue to be significantly hampered and access to fodder resources remains limited.

    • Markets are well supplied with local staples, and tubers from new harvests in coastal countries. Overall, demand is slightly seasonally increasing, but well below the usual increase. The period remains marked by an atypical drop in prices, below last year and the average. However, they remain atypically high in conflict areas. High rice prices also persist in coastal countries. The closure of Nigeria's land borders has a negative impact on trade and could also reduce the supply of imported rice and further increase prices. In the future, supply will remain sufficient and will increase with the new harvests from October onwards. Prices are expected to be below average throughout the harvest period until December 2019.

    • Most areas remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) in December 2019 and some remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, continued insecurity in northern Burkina Faso, central and northern Mali, western Niger, north-western Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin will continue to increase the number of internally displaced persons and refugees. Despite the continued deterioration of livelihoods, humanitarian aid will help to maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in these areas for host households, internally displaced persons and refugees.

    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will remain until October 2019 in the Tillabéry regions of Niger, the Tibesti region of Chad, Soum province in Burkina Faso, eastern CAR, and the English-speaking regions of Cameroon due to armed conflicts and/or civil insecurity that significantly disrupt household livelihoods and severely reduce the distribution of humanitarian aid. Households in northeastern Nigeria affected by the Boko Haram conflict continue to depend on humanitarian aid for access to food and remain food insecure. Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) particularly in Borno State and incidentally Yobé State. In adjacent areas that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, the food situation could 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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