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Satisfying progress of the season after a delayed start

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Niger
  • August 2019
Satisfying progress of the season after a delayed start

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In the Diffa, Tillabéry and Tahoua regions, the security crisis continues to cause further internal displacement and disruption to the main sources of food and income. This situation places poor households in Diffa in Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2!) thanks to humanitarian aid and poor households in Northern Tillabéry in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    • Elsewhere, the agricultural season started late, but the crops planted have been growing under favorable conditions in July and August. Accompanied by the good levels of household stocks and the regular supply of markets, this is ensuring Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1) that will continue until at least January 2020.

    • The markets are well supplied thanks to good cereal flows, except in the Diffa region and in the north of the Tillabéry and Tahoua regions, where insecurity is continuing to disrupt market operations. Cereal prices remain generally stable or lower than last year and are close to the seasonal average.

    • The pastoral zone has insufficient natural pastureland for livestock due to the late onset of precipitation. This situation has extended the lean season and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity among poor households. However, with regular rains and the emergence of vegetation, this will change to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from September 2019 until January 2020.


    The rainfall situation has improved since July, following a run of dry periods between May and June 2019. The overall reduction in cumulative seasonal rainfall at the beginning of August compared with the ten-year average reflects this situation (Figure 1). Following the onset of rains, sowing delays of between 20 and 30 days compared with the average date have been observed, especially in the northern bands of the Zinder region and in the Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéry regions. There is a crop water deficit in the majority of the country's agricultural zone (Figure 2).

    However, the current good weather conditions for cereal and cash crops, which could continue until the end of October/November (according to the latest seasonal forecasts), will allow the crops to catch up and average harvests to be made.

    In terms of pasture, the overall situation is characterized by tentative replenishment of pastureland and low-level filling of water points due to delayed rainfall in the pastoral zone. However, feed supplements are enabling livestock to be kept in acceptable physical condition. Milk production and market value are gradually recovering.

    Markets are regularly and satisfactorily supplied by traders and establishments selling at moderate prices. Prices have remained generally stable. In July 2019, they showed levels comparable to those for the October to December 2018 period and were in line with the average trend for that period. However, moderate increases to the five-year average for millet are observed as a result of disrupted flows linked to attacks by armed groups in the Diffa and Tillabéry regions.

    The security situation continues to deteriorate along the border with Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali and within the Diffa, Tillabéry and Tahoua regions, where population displacements are observed. The loss of livelihoods in these areas has made these displaced persons dependent on food assistance. A safe humanitarian space in Diffa ensures that the necessary food assistance reaches displaced persons. However, in Tillabéry region, internally displaced persons rarely receive food assistance because of security restrictions that are limiting humanitarian assistance. They live off community solidarity in host households and often earn an income through the sale of labor, handicrafts, timber and straw.


    The most likely FEWS NET assumptions for the period June 2019 to January 2020 have not changed.


    Climate forecasts expect rainfall to continue until November. Sowing that is carried out on time or slightly delayed should benefit from water conditions that will allow growth cycles to complete properly and ensure overall average agricultural production that will enable households to meet their food needs without assistance and without recourse to negative coping strategies. They will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity until at least January 2020. The same situation will be observed in the pastoral zone, where improved pastoral conditions will become more widespread and households will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity from mid-September to the end of January.

    Pockets in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity will continue to be observed in the Diffa region thanks to food assistance for people made vulnerable by the conflict. Areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in September 2019 and until January 2020 will be observed in the northern part of the Tillabéry region as a result of security conditions unfavorable to livelihood activities and humanitarian assistance.

    Figures La plupart du pays présente un léger déficit ou un excès modéré de cumul des précipitations

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    La quantité d'eau dans le sol se troue entre 50 et 75% de la moyenne dans une importante partie du pays, avec certaines zones

    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

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