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Further deterioration in security conditions in the Diffa region

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Niger
  • May 2015
Further deterioration in security conditions in the Diffa region

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through September 2015
  • Key Messages
    • The recent attacks by Boko Haram on islands in Lake Chad and ensuing security measures have triggered a new wave of internal population displacements, adding to the numbers of people in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity in the southern part of the Diffa region, where food assistance should keep food insecurity at this level through September 2015.

    • Animal feed assistance has helped maintain the physical condition and market value of livestock in pastoral areas of Zinder, Tahoua, and Tillabéri, keeping household food insecurity at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels. The impact of the instability in Libya and the Lake Chad area on local livelihoods and markets is responsible for the continuing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the pastoral zone of Diffa.

    • Households in farming and agropastoral areas of the country are generally able to meet their food and nonfood needs. However, some poor households in certain agropastoral and farming areas of Zinder and Tillabéri will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity between May and September in light of the depleted food stocks and high prices in these areas.

       

      This report is being translated to English.


    Current Situation

    Land preparation work in anticipation of the start of the 2015 rainy season is underway in farming and agropastoral zones. Ongoing farming activities involve the clearing of fields and, in some cases, the planting of crops. However, the growing season is getting off to a slightly slower start than in 2014, when 21 percent of farming villages having already planted their crops by the end of the first dekad of May, compared with less than five percent this year.

    With the gradual depletion of household food stocks, market purchase is the main source of household cereal supplies in many parts of the country. On the whole, sales of livestock, wood/straw, woven straw fences, and market garden crops and remittances are generating average amounts of income. Deliveries of assistance in the form of improved seeds have helped enlarge cropped areas and boost production of market garden crops, though the larger supply of these crops has driven down their selling price. The price of a bag of peppers, for example, was between 5,000 and 7,000 XOF in April 2015, down by more than 20 percent from 2014. There is a stable flow of income from other sources such as wage labor clearing fields for the planting of crops. Daily wage rates for May 2015 are comparable to figures for 2014, at between 750 XOF and 1,000 XOF.

    In general, the average national price of livestock in April 2015 showed little change from the previous month and from 2014 at the same time of year. Prices for bulls, male sheep, and male goats were approximately 15 percent above the five-year average. However, April 2015 prices for bulls and male goats in pasture-short areas, particularly in Ouallam, Nguigmi, and Abalak, were down from April of 2014 by approximately 10 to 20 percent.

    Cereal markets are getting regular supplies of food crops. Most cereal supplies are from the inventories of commercial importers and from the subsidized sales of 10,365 metric tons of cereals in municipalities around the country. Food prices on most markets are stable and, in some cases, on the decline, except on the Ouallam market where prices are six percent above the five-year average. However, with the depletion of their food and forage reserves and their systematic reliance on market purchase for their supplies of food and animal feed, poor households in farming and agropastoral areas of the Zinder, Tahoua, and Tillabéri regions have limited means with which to bear the cost of other financial expenses and, in particular, outlays on purchases of seeds.

    There has been a clear deterioration in the household food security situation in most pastoral and agropastoral areas of Nguigmi, Zinder, Tahoua, and Tillaberi due to the unfavorable conditions in these areas with the earlier than usual depletion of sources of food and water for livestock. The deterioration in terms of trade to the detriment of pastoral households and their systematic purchases of animal feed are putting added pressure on the limited financial resources of poor households. The food security situation of pastoral households in Nguigmi department is especially troubling due to the effects of the crisis in Libya on income from livestock sales and the disruptions to local markets and livelihoods in the Lake Chad area.

    The latest developments in the conflict with Boko Haram in the Diffa region are triggering increasingly large-scale population movements. With these growing population movements, some 25,000 people have left their homes on Lake Chad islands in the wake of the security measures instituted by the government.


    Updated Assumptions

    Trends in food security indicators support the projected food security outlook for April through September 2015, except in the Diffa region where new waves of population displacements could create a larger food-insecure population.


    Projected Outlook through September 2015

    The expected normal seasonal increase in cereal prices should not pose a major problem for middle-income households in farming and agropastoral zones, not limiting their food access nor preventing them from meeting their nonfood expenses. However, with their longer than usual dependence on market purchase for their cereal supplies, poor households in deficit production agricultural and agropastoral zones of the Tillabéri and Zinder regions may not have the financial means to meet their nonfood expenses between June/July and September 2015. Thus, while households in most parts of the country will generally experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through June 2015, those in certain localized areas of Ouallam, Magaria, Matameye, and Gouré departments will face higher levels of food insecurity.

    Households in pastoral areas of Tillabéri, Tahoua, and Zinder will not have the means to fully meet their basic nonfood expenses between now and June/July and, thus, will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity. However, as of July, the rising prices of livestock in high demand for the observance of Ramadan and the celebration of Tabaski will give them better access to enough income to cover all their expenses.

    The effects of the conflicts in Libya and Nigeria on local markets and livelihoods will prevent poor households in the pastoral zone of Nguigmi from meeting their food needs as they face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity. The marked increase in the IDP population in the southern part of the Diffa region will only add to the numbers of poor local households dependent on external assistance to meet their food needs between now and September. Thus, resident and displaced populations in this area will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity through at least the month of September.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 2

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Source:

    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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