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Increasing food insecurity as COVID-19 restrictions adds to civil insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • Niger
  • May 2020
Increasing food insecurity as COVID-19 restrictions adds to civil insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The effects of the ongoing civil insecurity continue to negatively affect food insecurity for poor and displaced households. Security incidents increased from 492 cases between January and April 2019 to 523 cases during the same period in 2020. Diffa, Tillabery, and Tahoa are the regions most affected by insecurity and were estimated to host 223,048 displaced people in April 2020 compared to 184,634 people in April 2019. Displaced populations as well as poor host households continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity.

    • As of May 27, Niger recorded 955 cases of COVID-19, affecting all regions. However, Niamey's COVID-19 cases account for almost 80 percent of the registered cases followed by Zinder with 12 percent of the cases and Agadez with 3.5 percent of the cumulative confirmed cases. The measures taken by the public authorities to combat COVID-19, aimed at prohibiting movement and contact between people, imply a significant reduction in access to income for rural and urban households and a decrease in the access to food in several areas of the country. As a result of COVID-19 and measures to combat its spread, 10 to 15 percent of poor households in these areas fall into food insecurity in the Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    • Markets are well supplied with food products thanks to commodity flows which are exempt from restrictive measures. The loss of local jobs and declines in migration as a result of measures restricting the movement of people reduce the purchasing power of poor households for consumer products and therefore weakens the demand of agro-pastoral households on the markets. Below-average livestock prices due to restrictions and the poor physical condition of livestock resulting from fodder deficits are causing farmers' incomes to fall and their expenses to care for the animals to rise. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are observed in the pastoral zones but will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) starting in July with the end of the pastoral lean season and the beginning of the agricultural season.

    • Market disruptions and sharp reductions in income due to the loss of the main livelihoods in urban areas continue to negatively affect food security for poor urban and peri-urban households who depend on informal labor opportunities and who can no longer cover their food needs. Despite the lifting of certain restrictive measures in Niamey, the reduction in income continues to cause Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity for these households.

    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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