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Special Alert on Borno State, Nigeria: Urgent Humanitarian Action Needed to Respond to an Elevated Risk of Famine

  • Alert
  • Nigeria
  • December 16, 2016
Special Alert on Borno State, Nigeria: Urgent Humanitarian Action Needed to Respond to an Elevated Risk of Famine

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  • Summary
  • Partner


    Despite government and partners efforts to assist population in need, an elevated risk of famine is ongoing and will persist in inaccessible areas of Borno State in Northern Nigeria 


    Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis at Senatorial Zone Level in October 2016 confirmed a very severe food insecurity and nutrition situation in Borno state, projecting the population in CH Phase 5 will increase from 55,000 to 115,000 people. A  FEWS NET IPC compatible analysis of lower level Local Government Areas (LGAs) and selected IDP concentrations in Borno State conducted in November 2016 further confirmed the alarming situation and revealed an ongoing IPC Elevated Risk of Famine in the inaccessible areas that will likely continue into 2017.

    A multi-partner IPC quality assurance process has reviewed the FEWS NET IPC-compatible analysis of Borno State, Nigeria, and has confirmed that there are enough evidence indicating that:  

    • A Famine likely occurred in April-August in some IDP enclaves (Bama and Banki towns) and in other nearby inaccessible areas of Borno state facing similar conditions of limited access to food and health services and before the impact of Humanitarian Assistance.
    • There is an elevated likelihood that famine is ongoing and will continue in the inaccessible areas of Borno State assuming conditions will remain similar or worse to those observed in Bama and Banki towns from April to August of 2016.
    • Humanitarian assistance has improved food security and may be preventing Famine in various IDPs concentrations but sustained humanitarian access is critical in many areas.
    • The current response is insufficient to meet the very large emergency assistance needs.

    The worst affected area is the Borno State in Northern Nigeria, especially IDP concentrations and areas inaccessible due to conflict.

    The most affected populations are those without humanitarian assistance in inaccessible areas and IDPs. IDPs in the northeast region are estimated at 1.8 million, of which 1.4 million in Borno State and one million are in and around Maiduguri, the state capital (IOM DTM report, October, 2016).

    The main factor contributing to the widespread food insecurity is the persistence of conflict, which has resulted in mass displacements. Severe food insecurity has also been driven by below-average crop production, disrupted livelihoods, and the financial crisis linked to the local currency depreciation. 

    RISK OF FAMINE: Despite evidence pointing to a famine situation, an IPC Famine cannot be confirmed according to IPC guidelines with the information available.


    Actions needed

    Members of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) convened in Abuja in December, 12, 2016, urge:   

    • The Government of Nigeria, with support from its partners, to step-up its efforts in providing secure access for aid organizations in the affected zones;  
    • ECOWAS and the International community to respond to this food and nutrition emergency in order to save lives.

    The IPC Global Partners also call for immediate access to insecure areas to respond to humanitarian needs and facilitate data collection to further ascertain the situation. Vigilance is also needed to monitor the evolving situation and update the Cadre Harmonize (CH) analysis.


    Quality Process and Next Steps: A Multi-partner IPC Real-Time Quality Review (RTQR) and an IPC Emergency Review Committee (ERC) were activated by the IPC Global Partners to ensure that the FEWSNET IPC Compatible analysis meets IPC quality standards. The ERC reviewed the plausibility of the analysis and the current alert is formulated based on the ERC final recommendations applying IPC standards and guidelines. The next round of CH Acute Food Insecurity analysis is planned for the first quarter of 2017.


    Contact: IPC Global Support Unit 

    Figures Current food security outcomes by LGA, November 2016

    Figure 1

    Current food security outcomes by LGA, November 2016

    Source: FEWS NET IPC Compatible analysis, December 2016

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