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Food insecurity increasingly worrisome with the lean season amid COVID-19 and insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • Niger
  • July 2020
Food insecurity increasingly worrisome with the lean season amid COVID-19 and insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are on the decline, however measures to combat the spread of the virus are still in place, including border closures which are preventing migrant agricultural labor from returning to the country and reducing income for poor households. The social distancing measures in place continue to negatively impact demand for domestic work in urban centers, upon which many poor urban households depend.

    • The volatile security crisis continues to cause victims and displacement. Internally displaced people (IDPs) are estimated at more than 260,000 people in June 2020, according to UNHCR, compared to 180,000 in June 2019. The regions most affected by insecurity are Diffa, Tillabery, Tahoa, and Maradi. Livelihood activities and productive assets are disrupted, and distributions of humanitarian food assistance is limited, resulting in households experiencing a food deficit.

    • The agricultural season is ongoing in the agricultural areas of the country, where sowing has been completed in all agricultural villages. However, reductions in the areas sown following the reduction in the agricultural workforce has been observed in localized areas. In addition, the onset of rains has been late in the pastoral areas where the combined effects of the lack of pasture and the disruption of transhumance routes following COVID-19 and civil insecurity is leading to a longer and more difficult lean season for livestock and pastoral households.

    • Minimal! (IPC Phase 1!) food insecurity is observed among poor households in urban areas and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are in the southern part of the region of Maradi and in the Diffa region, as ongoing humanitarian assistance is mitigating worse outcomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail in the northern regions of Tillabery and Tahoa due to continued insecurity that disrupts access to key sources of food and income. Most pastoral zones are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity, with a minority of poor pastoral households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with the excessive sales of livestock, including females, as pastoralists cope with higher food prices.  

    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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