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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all the wilayas with a cumulative number of 7,433 cases, including 220 active cases as of September 23. Torrential rains and seasonal accumulations 150percent above average in the south, are causing flooding in several localities in the wilayas of Guidimakha, Gorgol, Hodh El Charghi, Inchiri and Nouakchott. In addition to the damage to road and hydro-agricultural infrastructure, these floods also caused loss of property in households as well as crop damage, thus increasing humanitarian needs in the country.
The early to normal start of the rainy season and the good spatio-temporal distribution of the rains in the rainfed crop area favors normal crop growth with stemming and flowering as the dominant stages. However, declining income from migration due to restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic limits the ability to invest in agricultural inputs and even to recruit agricultural labor, which could negatively impact production. The timely regeneration of pastures and the availability of water resources have also encouraged a return of the transhumants who were concentrated in the wilayas of Gorgol and Guidimakha. The first watermelon harvests and the increased availability of milk are helping to improve the food situation of pastoral households.
The level of supply of basic foodstuffs to markets by traders is average. However, the deterioration of the road network is reducing the supply to some localities, especially those affected by the floods. Overall, this leads to slight price increases (around 10percent), especially for imported rice. In the markets of Kaedi (wilaya of Gorgol) and Selibaby (wilaya of Guidimakha), the increase in the price of imported rice is greater, respectively by 40 and 17 percent compared to last year. On the other hand, the improvement in the overweight of the animals and the continuation of cattle exports to Senegal are promoting a slight increase of around 10percent in the prices of small ruminants in these markets.
While awaiting the start of harvests from October which will improve the food situation of poor households, the monthly cash distribution operation underway since June for the benefit of 186,293 families continues in September. It is reinforced by the cash transfers in progress by humanitarian partners (NGOs, FAO, WFP) and also the distribution of food from the government for the benefit of the victims. These distributions promote acute food insecurity Stress (IPC Phase 2!) In the rain-fed crop area.
This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.