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Good harvest prospects despite insecurity and flooding

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • September 2020
Good harvest prospects despite insecurity and flooding

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The good progress of the agricultural campaign coupled with the promising end of the season indicates average to above- average expected harvests. However, below-average harvests are expected in the insecure/conflict areas of Liptako Gourma, the Lake Chad Basin, northwestern and north-central Nigeria, and northwestern and southwestern Cameroon. These deficits will be accentuated in Nigeria due to the impact of COVID-19 on the areas sown - decreasing, poor access to agricultural labor and the impacts of flooding on crops. Heavy rains in late August/early September caused deadly floods and destroyed infrastructure and crops in several countries, particularly in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Mali. 

    • Since mid-August, the region has seen a decrease in the number of new COVID-19 cases, despite the observed laxity in the application of barrier measures. Commercial activities continue to gradually improve but land borders remain officially closed to travelers. Market supply levels remain below average but still sufficient to meet demand until the next harvest. In the Greater Lake Chad Basin, the Liptako Gourma region, and the Tibesti region of Chad, markets remain disrupted due to insecurity.

    • Cereal prices generally remained stable compared to the same period last year, except in areas affected by deficits and/or supply disruptions such as Niger and Senegal and in non-XOF coastal countries where local and imported rice prices remained significantly higher on average, aggravated by currency depreciation. In Nigeria, the increase in hydrocarbon prices will impact food prices with higher increases in conflict areas. Livestock trade in general remains disrupted by COVID-19-related movement restrictions and insecurity/conflict in some pastoral areas.

    • Most of the region will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until January 2021 and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) for some, including many urban households severely affected by the COVID-19 restrictions due to the reduction in the implementation of usual livelihood activities leading to a decline in income and purchasing power. In areas affected by civil insecurity such as the center and north of the Tillabéry region, the north of Tahoua, the Diffa region and the extreme south of the Maradi region in Niger, in the provinces of Loroum, Soum and Sanmatenga in Burkina Faso, Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) will remain until September thanks to planned and implemented food assistance. The same will be true for poor households in the rainfed farming zone in Mauritania, who are more exposed to the cumulative effect of an early lean season and loss of income resulting from COVID-19 restrictive measures.

    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will continue until September in the Barh el Gazel (BEG) and Kanem provinces of Chad due to the erosion of productive household assets and consumption deficits. The same will be true between October and January in the Central African Republic, the Liptako-Gourma region in Mali, the Lake Zone in Chad, among IDPs in northwestern and northeastern Nigeria, and in the northwestern and southwestern regions of Cameroon due to persistent conflicts with their corollary of destroying livelihoods that are being further strained in places by COVID-19 restrictions. In Burkina Faso this level of food insecurity will continue until January in the provinces of Bam, Namentenga, Séno, Oudalan, Yagha, Gnagna and Komondjari.  In Nigeria, IDPs in camps located in inaccessible areas near the Lake Chad Basin are reported to be food insecure in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) where access to food and income is very limited.

    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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