Food Security Outlook

Emergency (IPC Phase 4) expected in worst-affected conflict areas of the northeast

April 2015 to September 2015
2015-Q2-1-1-NG-en

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Boko Haram conflict continues to lead to loss of lives, continued population displacement, and is a driver of elevated food insecurity in northeast Nigeria, as well as in neighboring regions in Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Affected resident and displaced populations, most notably in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, have limited access to their typical food and income sources. The continuing conflict also contributes to reduced market activity in the region.

  • Between April and September, the number of areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity will increase in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States as more households begin to face food consumption gaps. Areas worst affected by conflict will begin to experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity in July as a large proportion of households in these areas face greater food consumption gaps and higher risks for malnutrition and excess mortality.

  • Outside of the northeast, most households across the country have good availability and access to their typical food and income sources. Most of the country is experiencing average or below-average prices for staple foods, contributing to good market access for market-dependent households. As such, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected between now and September.

National Overview

Current Situation

Off season harvests for vegetables, including pepper, onions, tomatoes and greens, are underway normally in most northern areas. Similarly, fishing activities are also continuing in the dry season. Aside from in the northeast, which continues to be impacted by Boko Haram conflict, production from these off season activities is generally average, contributing positively to household food and income availability.

The preparation for the upcoming main season is also underway across the country, though at different levels. Most households in the north are engaged in land preparation activities which peak in April, while in the south farmers are already preparing to plant for yam, maize and cassava.

Reports from FEWS NET field enumerators indicated that market and household food stocks in most areas across the country are generally average to above-average, attributable to good main and off season harvests over the past year. As the agriculture lean season approaches, household stocks (particularly for poor households) are depleting, though at normal to slower than normal rates. Agricultural and agropastoral households are beginning to turn to market purchase to meet their food needs as they would in a typical year.

Except in northeastern Nigeria, household, cross border and institutional demand for market purchase is below average given good household and institutional stocks. Limited support from the government due to declining oil revenues is also thought to contribute to the low institutional demand. Carryover stocks from 2013/14 have added to the already good availability of recent production for market stocks, particularly on urban markets such as Dawanau in Kano.

Staple cereal prices are either declining or relatively stable on most markets monitored by FEWS NET, except those in the conflict-affected northeast. On Giwa, Dandume, and Saminaka markets, which are in millet surplus producing areas, the price of millet has remained stable in March relative to February (Figure 1). Kaura Namoda and Gujungu markets, also in millet surplus producing areas, have seen millet prices declined by nine and six percent respectively over the same period. Similarly, the price of white maize price declined by five and eleven percent respectively on Dodoru and Gujungu markets. Similar cereal price trends are also observed on markets in cereal deficit producing areas in the south.

Staple cereal prices are generally down against last year and average for most markets. Most of the country has seen good agricultural production for the last two consecutive years for most staple and cash crops. Increased market and trader stocks for cereals, tubers, and cash crops and weak market demand contribute to make purchase prices accessible for households who are relying on market purchase to meet their food needs.

Yam and gari (cassava product) prices are generally declining on most deficit-producing markets. White gari declined by 11 and 10 percent on Dandume and Dawanau respectively markets between February and March. Over the same period, yam prices declined by 32 and 5 percent respectively on the same markets. However, gari and yam prices have remained stable in the southern markets, notably in Ibadan and Lagos, due to atypically low market supply.

Most households across the country are also experiencing normal livelihood activities enabling poor households to access food through own production and/or through market purchases. Livestock trade is currently low as demand declined towards the election due to trader fears and uncertainty keeping traders from traveling to markets in south. Market supply is somewhat below average due to reduced supply from neighboring Niger and Chad. This is contributing to an extent, though, to good sale prices for pastoral households.

Reports from the Department of Veterinary Services at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reveal that the outbreak of avian influenza continues, has spread to a total of 18 states, with more than 75 local governments impacted. Cases have been recorded in live bird markets and on farms across the country. The worst affected states are Kano, Plateau and Bauchi. The total number of depopulated birds is currently over 1.3 million from 417 farms. Compensation has been given for more than 100,000 depopulated birds, while the poultry producers for the remaining 1.2 million depopulated birds are awaiting compensation from the government. In addition to the impact on the poultry industry, a continued spread of the outbreak would further impact cereal traders and market demand for cereals, particularly for maize.

Cattle rustling, particularly in Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina States and Abuja, persists, with substantial number of head of livestock stolen in isolated areas. Several bandits have been arrested and others killed during the associated clashes. Communal conflicts, mainly between herders and farmers also continue in parts of central and northern regions of Nigeria, resulting in casualties, population displacements and disruption to livelihoods, particularly in Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Taraba States.

While most regions across the country are experiencing minimal levels of acute food insecurity, Boko Haram conflict continues to heavily impact food access and availability in northeastern Nigeria. Although there are some indications that the level of conflict has been declining slightly, skirmishes between Boko Haram militants, the Government of Nigeria and the Multinational Joint Task Force continue, heavily impacting households in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. Recent improvements in the security situation have been noted in Adamawa State, with some households beginning to return to the Mubi area. The April Nigeria NEMA/IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix report indicates there are more than 1.4 million people in the northeast displaced by Boko Haram conflict, two thirds of whom were displaced in 2014. Although most are located in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, large IDP populations also exist across Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba States. FEWS NET informants in the northeast report that most IDPs, particularly those who have fled areas worst affected by conflict, face difficulty returning not only due to fear of violence, but also because their assets at the homestead have often been destroyed.

For resident households, the continuing conflict has contributed to limiting agricultural activities in the northeast. 2014/15 main season and off season harvests came in well below average in Borno, central and southern Yobe, and northern Adamawa, states worst impacted by the conflict. The heavily impacted harvests have contributed to limited household own production stocks as well as low market stocks. A recent FEWS NET rapid assessment to 12 local governments in the northeast found that in March there was a limited availability of cereals across eastern Yobe, central and southern Borno and northern Adamawa.

Figure 1. Northeast Nigeria market activity –
week of April 13, 2015

The conflict also continues to impact market activity in the northeast, thereby limiting household food and income availability through market purchase and agriculture sales. The same March rapid assessment in northeast Nigeria found that the Damaturu-Maiduguri road is the only major trade route still somewhat functioning in conflict-affected areas. Other major trade routes are either severely restricted or dangerous for travel. Although market activity in markets monitored by FEWS NET has increased for some markets, particularly in Yobe and Adamawa States, market activity remains significantly disrupted across central Yobe, Borno, and northern Adamawa (Figure 2). Limited market activity and high market prices contribute to limiting household food availability and access for those resident and displaced households with the means to purchase their food needs. Staple food prices on most markets monitored by FEWS NET in the northeast are above to well above those seen on markets which neighbor the region (exceeding 30% higher in some instances).

Assumptions

The most likely scenario for April through September 2015 is based on the following national-level assumptions:

  • Household food stocks: In areas not affected by conflict, household food stocks will continue to deplete normally in May in the south and June in the north. However, in areas worst affected by Boko Haram conflict, households only had limited food stocks after the October main harvest. Most are expected to have exhausted their staple cereal stocks.
  • Household food demand: Household market demand for staple cereals, particularly maize, millet, and sorghum, will increase typically as household stocks are depleted. In June/July and September, there will be an atypical increase in demand for millet as households purchase for Ramadan and Tabaski holidays.
  • Industrial demand: Demand for sorghum by malting and food processing industries within Nigeria will likely be below normal due to the conflict in the northeast. Maize demand will also relatively below normal during the April/May, but will increase atypically through July, when maize demand will be atypically high as poultry farmers increased production due to increased demand for Ramadan.
  • Market supply/trade flows: Market supplies of cereals and tubers are expected to remain average to above average due to the good harvests throughout most of the country. Given the stability in much of Nigeria and in neighboring countries and the stability in the eastern marking basin, the only significant disruption to trade flows are expected in the Lake Chad region.
  • Fuel costs: Fuel subsidies are expected to continue at status quo levels through at least September. Fuel scarcities at pumps will also persist, though, contributing to higher transportation costs for goods.
  • Cereal prices: Cereal prices will increase at usual levels between April and August as market supply wanes typically. Better than average market supply will mitigate the impacts of fuel scarcities and increasing industrial demand in the coming months, keeping cereals prices at near-normal levels. The exception will be for the price of millet, which is expected to increase atypically fast in June/July due to demand associated with preparations for Ramadan, and decline again to near-normal levels in August. In September, as market supplies increase in anticipation of the October main harvest, most cereal prices will begin to decrease again seasonably.
  • Tuber prices: Gari and yam prices will increase through May as market stocks become depleted. Between June and July, though, prices will decline as the new early green harvests peaks. Slightly limited cassava and yam stocks in the south have contributed to slightly above-average prices, and this trend is expected to continue through September. Many poor households will substitute away from gari and yam towards cheaper foods, including sweet potatoes and cocoyam.
  • Transhumance: In June/July, pastoral movements will begin northward as the rainy season progresses. However, a larger number of pastoralists and their livestock will travel to parts of the west-central areas of the country due to communal conflicts in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba States between pastoralists and farmers. Movements to the northeast will be significantly limited.
  • Livestock prices: Livestock demand will peak in June/July for Ramadan with another peak in small ruminant demand in August/September as Tabaski approaches. Conflict in the northeast and cattle rustling and herder/farmer conflict in northwest and central states will contribute to below-average market and trade activities relating to livestock in those areas. As a result, livestock prices will be atypically high in affected areas.
  • Seasonal Progress: The March NIMET forecast indicated a slight delay for the start of season in southern regions. Because the rainy season in the bi-modal south is quite long, however, at the moment it is expected that the late start will not impact strongly agricultural activities. There is not yet any strong indication that the 2015 rainy season (March to November in southern regions, May to October in northern regions) will be atypical.
  • Agricultural activities: Planting activities will begin between April and July, depending on the area, increasing normally labor opportunities and income levels for poor households. Agricultural labor demand will continue through September for wedding activities.
    In the conflict-affected northeast, more than 1.4 million people are displaced and most are expected to not be able to return to the homestead for the 2015 agricultural season. For resident households and those able to return to their homestead, they will have difficulties accessing agricultural inputs (seeds and fertilizer) due to the limited supply and economic constrain. Agricultural wage labor will also be limited by the insecurity.
  • Access to fertilizer: Fertilizer demand will peak normally during the planting season in June. Government subsidized fertilizer will range from NGN1,000 to NGN3,000/bag beginning in July/August. However this subsidized fertilizer is not usually sufficient to cover farmers' needs across the country and most farmers will resort to the open market to purchase additional fertilizer at rates ranging between NGN4,000 and NGN6,000/bag. Government will intensify their supply of inputs such as seeds and fertilizer through the GES programme, increasing access.
  • Green harvests: The early green harvest of yams and maize in the south will begin normally in May/June, slightly tempering lean season food shortages in the area. Central and northern areas of the country will also benefit from early green harvests (particularly for potatoes and groundnuts) beginning in June in central states and later in northern states.
  • Civil insecurity: Boko Haram conflict is expected to continue through September. Joint military operations appear to be intensifying, with conflict between Boko Haram and military forces resulting in increased population displacement. Communal conflict in north central states will also continue at status quo levels.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Most agricultural and agropastoral households will rely on their own food stocks through April/May/June to meet most of their food needs. Households are generally expected to have good access to their typical livelihood activities, allowing for normal seasonal income earnings. For households who are market dependent or become more market dependent for their food needs between April and July, average to below-average prices for staple foods will allow for good market access. Between April and September, most of the country, except the northeast, will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.

Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria continues to limit household food availability and access. Household production stocks for agricultural and agropastoral households have been exhausted much earlier than normal. Access to typical livelihoods will continue to be restricted by the ongoing conflict. Displaced households in urban areas will need to continue to rely heavily on community and humanitarian assistance to meet their basic food needs. Below-average local production, disrupted trade routes, high food prices and limited market activity are all contributing to limited market access for households who have the means to purchase their food needs. Between April and September, more areas in the northeast will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity as more households begin to face food consumption gaps. Between July and September, areas in Borno (including greater Maiduguri), southern Yobe and northern Adamawa worst affected by conflict will face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as most poor resident households in these areas experience even larger food consumption gaps in their diet, and increased risk for malnutrition and excess mortality.

Areas of Concern

Livelihood Zone 10 – North-Central Maize, Sorghum and Cotton

Madagali and Michika (Adamawa State), Askira Uba and Chibok (Borno State)

Current Situation

FEWS NET recently undertook a rapid assessment to the northeast in March, which included visiting local governments in this zone, as well as other local governments in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe that were previously inaccessible. Conflict

continues to heavily affect the region (Figure 3). Physical access to this part of Livelihood Zone 10 remains very poor. Reports from FEWS NET field informants in the zone also indicate that although there has been some recent progress in destabilizing Boko Haram, the risk of attack in this zone is still very high. Although displaced households are in some cases attempting to return to their homes, the number of IDPs from the conflict continues to increase due to sustained conflict between Boko Haram and military forces.

The April Nigeria NEMA/IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix report indicates that most IDPs in Borno are located in urban Maidugiri and Biu. Many IDPs have also been displaced to Mubi and Yola in Adamawa and Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe.

For resident households who remain in the zone, dry season cropping is still in progress, though activities are severely limited. In some areas of northern Adamawa State there was nearly no off season cultivation as these areas were just recently liberated by the Nigerian military. Households that are able to cultivate are harvesting market garden vegetables. Other households are still engaged in weeding and irrigation.

Off season agricultural activities typically contribute to increased food access for households in this zone in a typical year. As with recent previous years, however, the limited production will not contribute as greatly to household food access. The recent FEWS NET March rapid assessment confirmed that households in the zone already have limited access to staple cereals from main season production. In a typical year, local production in this surplus producing zone would be exported to other regions in Nigeria.

Markets continue to be impacted by the ongoing conflict. Trade flows in and out of the region are limited by insecure transportation routes (Figure 4). This is contributing to the decreased market activity seen in the region (Figure 2), although the situation has improved somewhat for some markets in southern Borno and northern Adamawa. As with many areas in the northeast, the availability of staple cereals on local markets is limited. Market disruptions are not only impacting household access to market purchase, but also contribute to limited marketing opportunities for crop and livestock sales. Cereal and cash crop prices on many markets with limited functionality are well below average due to limited market demand for transportation to other regions along the dangerous trade routes. On other major markets that are functioning better, sale prices for staple cereals are well above average due to the high local demand for consumption.

The March rapid assessment also confirmed that access to income is also down compared to average in the zone. Limited marketing opportunities for crop and livestock sales undercuts one major income source. Livestock trade in the zone has nearly collapsed as most pastoralists have left the area and agropastoral households who keep livestock have limited herd sizes. Petty trade, another important income source for the zone, was also reported as being down compared to pre-conflict norms.

In parts of southern Borno and northern Adamawa, land preparation in anticipation of the coming main season is in progress. FEWS NET field informant note, though, that as with off season agricultural activities, participation in land preparation is limited for fear of attack. Land preparation is underway for cereal and cash crop cultivation for the main season, which ends with the main harvest in October/November. These activities would also typically contribute to increased availability of wage labor opportunities, particularly for poor households.

There is no recent survey data for malnutrition in the area, but it is expected that levels of acute malnutrition are high. In addition to the limited availability and access to food in the zone, many health centers in the zone have closed (Figure 5). Except in Hawul, health facilities visited during the March rapid assessment did note, however, they were still offering malnutrition treatment.

Assumptions

In addition to the national-level assumptions described above, the following area-level assumptions are used to develop the most likely scenario for April through September 2015:

  • Conflict/displacement: The impacts of the civil insecurity relating to the Boko Haram conflict will continue in the zone. Fear of insurgents and the ongoing conflict will limit movement within the area. Displaced persons will be deterred from returning to their homes. Conflict will again this year impact the main agricultural season (May-October), limiting cropping and fishing activities.
  • Transhumance movements: Livestock movements across the zone will remain limited.
  • Trade flows and market functioning: Southern Borno and Northern Adamawa States are amongst the worst affected by the conflict. It is expected that there will be little improvement in market activity in the zone. Trade flows to and from the zone will remain restricted.
  • Food prices: Staple food prices will remain above average on most markets due to the limited trade flows and local production.
  • Labor supply/demand: Agriculture wage labor is typically a major income source for the poor households in the zone. As conflict is expected to limit agricultural activity, however, labor supply and demand will be below average. This will impact incomes between April and May for off season agriculture and May and September for main season agriculture.
  • Livestock sales: Incomes from livestock sales will continue to be limited, despite increased demand for Ramadan and Tabaski festivities, due to the continuing limited market access and low herd sizes.
  • Community assistance: Households will continue to rely heavily on community assistance and assistance from relations outside of the zone who are able to make it to the zone from time to time. The level of assistance delivered by relations will decrease relative to previous months, however, as incomes become more restricted at the end of the consumption year (May-August). It is expected that community assistance, however, will increase in June/July and September during Ramadan and Tabaski holidays.
  • Humanitarian assistance: The intense and fluid nature of insecurity in the zone will continue to restrict physical access and limit assistance delivery to the zone.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

The limited off season harvests will not be enough to support households in the zone, particularly considering the limited availability of own production stocks from the main season. Markets will continue to suffer due to below-average local production and disrupted trade flows. Furthermore, households do not have sufficient access to typical income earning activities – agricultural wage labor activities between May and September will be impacted by laborers’ security concerns and limited local demand for agricultural labor. The zone is already experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, and will continue to do so through June as households do not have the means to meet their minimum dietary needs. As households move into the peak of the lean season beginning in July, food access and availability will be further limited as own production stocks are exhausted. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely between July and September, with most resident households in the area expected to face larger food consumption gaps and increased levels of acute malnutrition and mortality.

Livelihood Zone 13 – Sahel Mixed Cereals and Livestock

Kukawa and Guzamala (Borno State)

Current Situation

Boko Haram conflict continues in the area resulting in population displacement, market and livelihood disruptions and destruction to infrastructure and household assets. According to FEWS NET field informants, the early January 2015 attack in Baga (a major town in this portion of Livelihood Zone 13) lead to widespread displacement of the local community and neighboring areas. There has since been escalating fears in surrounding areas for further attack by insurgents. Most displaced households have yet to relocate back to their homes due to fear of Boko Haram and uncertainties of the military operations and presence; reports also indicate that most household assets have been destroyed or looted. Information from FEWS NET field informants indicate that only about 15 to 25 percent of the local population remains in the zone.

For households that have remained in the zone, off season crop harvests (market garden vegetables, maize, water melon) are significantly below average. Following three consecutive years of below-average production, it is expected that main season harvest stocks have already been depleted, and the limited ongoing harvests for off season crops is not able to contribute to household consumption as it would in a typical year. Fishing activities are similarly negatively impacted, as the insecurity keeps households from fishing. Although these off season fishing and agriculture activities would typically contribute significantly to food and income availability in a typical year, this year, the impact is significantly limited.

Most pastoralists have moved out of the zone to avoid the persisting conflict. Pastoral households who remain in the zone reportedly do have livestock to sell, but herd sizes are significantly below average and herders must resort to finding markets outside of the zone to sell their livestock. The limited number of livestock in the area allow for adequate supply of pasture for animal consumption, and livestock body conditions are generally good. Due to the below-average herd sizes and limited marketing opportunities, households are earning limited incomes from livestock sales despite good animal body conditions.

Markets monitored in this part of the zone have minimal or no activity. This includes Baga, which is an important cross border market, well known for its fish trade. The usual cross border trade activities with the Diffa Region of Niger and western Chad is unavailable. The major trade routes in the area have been blocked by the insurgents and are thus inaccessible.

Poor households and some pastoral households are generally those who remain in the zone. Some households have attempted to return to the area, but many become displaced again. Assistance to resident households in the zone is limited by access. Households still rely strongly on community assistance and assistance from relations who are able to return to the zone from time to time.

Assumptions

In addition to the national-level assumptions described above, the following area-level assumptions are used to develop the most likely scenario for April through September 2015:

  • Conflict/displacement: The impacts of the civil insecurity relating to the Boko Haram conflict will continue in the zone. Fear of insurgents and the ongoing conflict will limit movement within the area. Displaced persons will be deterred from returning to their homes. Conflict will again this year impact the main agricultural season (May-October), limiting cropping and fishing activities.
  • Transhumance movements: Livestock movements across the zone will remain limited.
  • Fishing: Fishing activities will continue to be limited by the insecurity.
  • Trade flows and market functioning: Northeast Borno State is amongst the worst affected by the conflict. It is expected that there will be little improvement in market activity in the zone. Trade flows to and from the zone will remain restricted.
  • Food prices: Staple food prices will remain above average on most markets due to the limited trade flows and local production.
  • Labor supply/demand: Agriculture wage labor is typically a major income source for the poor households in the zone. As conflict is expected to limit agricultural activity, however, labor supply and demand will be below average. This will impact incomes between April and May for off season agriculture and May and September for main season agriculture.
  • Livestock sales: Incomes from livestock sales will continue to be limited, despite increased demand for Ramadan and Tabaski festivities, due to the continuing limited market access and low herd sizes.
  • Community assistance: Households will continue to rely heavily on community assistance and assistance from relations outside of the zone who are able to make it to the zone from time to time. The level of assistance delivered by relations will decrease relative to previous months, however, as incomes become more restricted at the end of the consumption year (May-August). It is expected that community assistance, however, will increase in June/July and September during Ramadan and Tabaski holidays.
  • Humanitarian assistance: The intense and fluid nature of insecurity in the zone will continue to restrict physical access and limit assistance delivery to the zone.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

As with Livelihood Zone 10, affected households in this zone have no or limited production stocks from the main season and conflict will continue to keep households from their agropastoral livelihoods. Off season fishing and cropping will only marginally add to household food access, and the unavailability of marketing opportunities means households will have limited means to sell what they are able to produce locally. Households will continue to depend heavily on community assistance through at least September. The zone has been significantly impacted by the conflict for the past three years, and between April and June will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity as households face food consumption gaps. After June, household food access from own production will be further limited in the months leading to the main harvest. Households will not have the typical agricultural wage labor incomes they would normally see from main season cropping activities. Between July and September, this zone is expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as households begin to face larger food consumption gaps with increased risk for acute malnutrition and excess mortality.

Internally Displaced Persons Settlements in the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Borno State

Current Situation

The April Nigeria NEMA/IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix report indicates that there are nearly one million IDPs in Borno State, with more than 600,000 IDPs located in Maiduguri local government. IDPs in Maiduguri are mainly from other LGAs across the State, displaced by recurring Boko Haram conflict. Many IDPs have been displaced multiple times and return to Maiduguri for relatively better security and access to assistance. The March FEWS NET rapid assessment to the northeast confirmed that most displacements have occurred since January 2014, and in the case of Maiduguri, most have occurred

since July 2014 (Figure 6). Recently, more than 2,000 people from areas close to Gwoza and Bama in Borno State were liberated by the military and moved to Maiduguri. Most households in Maiduguri live in settlements in makeshift shelters. Others are staying with friends, relations, or host families. Only an estimated 1 in 5 IDPs reside in camps with better access to humanitarian assistance.

Displaced households in greater Maiduguri have come from agricultural and agropastoral livelihood zones in Borno State. For most, their current situation does not afford them access to land for cultivation, though. In the absence of access to their typical livelihoods, families are turning mainly to wage labor work and the sale of handicrafts and petty trade for income. Given the number of IDP households in Maiduguri, though, the availability of wage labor (including construction work, help in the household, and water delivery) and petty trade activities is limited.

Humanitarian access in Maiduguri is better than in rural parts of the northeast. The Federal and State Governments, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are providing food assistance for IDPs in the camps. IDPs in informal settlement areas and with host families are also receiving some assistance from NGOs. Humanitarian actors do provide some essential food distributions, as well as essential sanitation and health support. Community assistance remains, however, a very important for source of food and income for displaced households. This community assistance, though, is contributing to straining the budgets of resident households in host communities in Maiduguri.

Most markets within the city, including Monday market, Gamboru market, Livestock market, and Custom market, are functioning, though at below-average levels. Reduced activity on these markets is attributable to limited availability of local production, disrupted trade routes, and localized insecurity. Maiduguri, though, still serves as the hub of activity for most commodities in the region, with most trade occurring with Kano. Despite the difficult trade routes, road blocks and curfews imposed by the military, traders continue their efforts to supply markets in Maiduguri. Thus, households with the capacity to purchase food do have access locally in Maiduguri, though at high prices.

The sale price for major staples goods in Maiduguri do remain atypically high. Prices for key staples in Maiduguri are also higher relative to other markets within the region, including for millet (Figure 7). Brown cowpea and brown sorghum currently sell for NGN115/kg and NGN45/kg respectively on Dawanau market in Kano, whereas the same commodities sell for NGN140/kg and NGN55/kg respectively on Monday market, Maiduguri. White maize sells for NGN48 on Dawanau market, but on Monday market sells for NGN60.

There is currently no survey data available on nutrition in Maiduguri. Several NGOs, however, have conducted assessments in the area which show very high levels of acute malnutrition among populations IDPs screened. ACF and IMC have both found Global Acute Malnutrition levels in excess of 25 percent during MUAC screenings among IDP children in Maiduguri. Although screening data is not necessarily representative for the local population, the extremely high levels of acute malnutrition found during ACF and IMC’s rapid assessments is concerning.

Assumptions

In addition to the national-level assumptions described above, the following area-level assumptions are used to develop the most likely scenario for April through September 2015:

  • Displacement: The conflict is expected to continue to lead to displacement of households to urban centers, further adding to the number of displaced households in and around Maiduguri between now and at least September. Main season agricultural activities begin in the northeast between March and May with land preparation activities, followed by planting, which ends by July. It is expected that some households will attempt to return home or send part of their household home for the main agricultural season, but those who are not able to make it home by July would arrive too late in the season for cultivation.
  • Wage labor and petty trade: The availability of wage labor and petty trade activities will continue to be limited. The continued inflow of IDPs to Maiduguri will contribute to increased participation in these activities and will likely lead to lower incomes for households.
  • Markets: Limited trade flows and local production will continue to limit market activity in Maiduguri. Purchase prices for key staples will remain above average and high compared to prices in neighboring areas.
  • Community assistance: Although community assistance is expected to continue, communities’ ability to continue delivering assistance will become more and more strained through September having hosted the IDPs for extended periods. The number of IDPs to be hosted will also be increasing through September. Food assistance can be expected to peak in June/July and September for the Ramadan and Tabaski holidays.
  • Humanitarian assistance: There is not yet any indication there will be a substantial increase in the number of people to be assistance in formal camps in Maiduguri.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

IDPs in Maiduguri will continue to be strongly dependent on either formal assistance for those who are in camps or community assistance for those in informal settlements or host families. Communities’ ability to give assistance will be further strained by the continuing displacement to Maiduguri. Without access to land, displaced households will continue to be kept from their typical livelihoods through the main cultivation season. Wage labor and petty trade activities will continue to be limited. Limited market activity will contribute to persistently high sale prices for staple foods. The high levels of acute malnutrition amongst IDPs in Maiduguri may likely worsen as food and income sources for IDPs becomes further strained.

Between April and June, a large proportion of IDPs in informal settlements are expected to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity as they face difficulty meeting their basic food needs. As market prices continue to increase, incomes are further strained, and community assistance becomes stressed beginning in July, displaced households will find further difficulty meeting their food needs. Between July and September, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is expected as IDPs in informal settlements face larger food consumption gaps and increased risk for acute malnutrition and excess mortality.

Internally Displaced Persons Settlements in the Greater Yola Metropolitan Area, Adamawa State

Current Situation

The latest round of the Nigeria NEMA/IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix noted there were more than 220,000 internally displaced persons in Adamawa State. In Yola North and Yola South, there are nearly 60,000 refugees. It is expected that less than 15 percent of the displaced population lives in formal camps, with most IDPs living in informal settlements and with host families. Although Yola is south of most main Boko Haram conflict, Yola and neighboring cities are the site of some infrequent attacks. Recent reports from field informants and partners indicate the majority of IDPs are not yet ready to return home, as they expect their community remains inaccessible and/or a majority of their household assets have been destroyed.

As with IDPs located in Maiduguri, most IDPs in Yola have come from agricultural livelihood zones. For most, their current situation does not afford them access to their homestead nor land to cultivate near Yola. Displaced households now rely strongly on community assistance, formal humanitarian assistance, petty trade and wage labor for food and income. Wage labor activities (including construction, agricultural labor, help in the household, firewood/charcoal sales, etc.) are limited, however, due to large number of IDPs in greater, and limited agricultural wage labor opportunities given the below-average off season opportunities due to low availability of irrigation.

Market activity in Yola remains less impacted than for neighboring markets to the north and east. As Yola is located south of the heart of Boko Haram conflict, it is less impacted by disruption to trade flows and reduced local production. Reports from field informants indicate that sale prices for staple foods are near normal; marginal increases in prices compared to normal are largely associated with the increased demand from the IDP population. Market purchase remains difficult, however, for most displaced households in informal settlements and host families due to their limited incomes.

Distributions of both food and non-food assistance are available to IDPs in formal camps as well as those in informal settlements and host families, though assistance delivered in formal camps is more substantial and regular. Most assistance delivered by the Federal and State Governments, through the NEMA and SEMA, is delivered to formal camps. Other international and national actors are supporting both IDPs in formal camps as well as those in informal settlements and host families. Community assistance, however, is a significant source for food access for IDPs, as with in Maiduguri. According to the partners on the field, while food items remain the most immediate needs for displaced households, health, nutrition, and sanitation issues also remain very critical issues in the camps.

Assumptions

In addition to the national-level assumptions described above, the following area-level assumptions are used to develop the most likely scenario for April through September 2015:

  • Displacement: The conflict is expected to continue to lead to displacement of households to urban centers, further adding to the number of displaced households in and around Maiduguri between now and at least September. Main season agricultural activities begin in the northeast between March and May with land preparation activities, followed by planting, which ends by July. It is expected that some households will attempt to return home or send part of their household home for the main agricultural season, but those who are not able to make it home by July would arrive too late in the season for cultivation.
  • Wage labor and petty trade: The availability of wage labor and petty trade activities will continue to be somewhat limited. Beginning in April/May and continuing through September, there will be some increase in availability of agricultural wage labor as the main cultivation season begins with land preparation in April, followed by planting and weeding in May/June through September. Limited conflict activity in and around Yola and a typical rainy season will not be limiting factors to wage labor demand, though the increase in labor supply will contribute to wages that are below average.
  • Markets: At the moment, there is little concern that conflict will very significantly interrupt trade flows and local production for market stocks. Purchase prices for key staples will remain near average, though purchase by IDPs will remain difficult given their limited incomes. Seasonal price increases can be expected through September, with peaks for staple cereals expected in June/July and September due to Ramadan and Tabaski holidays.
  • Community assistance: Although community assistance is expected to continue, communities’ ability to continue delivering assistance will become somewhat more strained through September, having hosted IDP populations for extended periods. The number of IDPs to be hosted will also be increasing through September. Food assistance can be expected to peak in June/July and September for the Ramadan and Tabaski holidays.
  • Humanitarian assistance: There is not yet any indication there will be a substantial increase in the number of people to be assistance in formal camps in Yola.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

As with displaced populations in Maiduguri, displaced households in Yola have limited access to their homestead or land locally for cultivation. In the absence of their typical livelihoods, IDPs rely heavily on community assistance, governmental and non-governmental assistance, petty trade and wage labor to access food and income. Although sale prices for key staples are near normal, access for many IDPs is limited by their income. The expected increase in IDPs in Yola is expected to further strain available incomes sources for displaced households, but the coming main agricultural season is expected to afford IDPs increased access to agricultural wage labor. However, despite continuing community and humanitarian assistance a large portion of IDP households in greater Yola are expected to experience strong difficulty meeting their basic food needs between now and September, as they face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity.

Events that Might Change the Outlook

Table 1: Possible events over the next six months that could change the most-likely scenario.

Area

Event

Impact on food security outcomes

National

Persisting drop in international oil prices

  • Lost revenue for the national government could contribute to limiting capacity for social and humanitarian programs.
  • Depreciation of the Naira could contribute to high market prices for essential food and non-food items.

Below-average and poorly distributed rainfall

Increased risk for food insecurity for affected populations due to crop losses would be expected.

Atypically widespread flooding during the rainy season

Increased risk for displacement and food insecurity for affected populations due to loss off cropping and assets would be expected.

Conflict-affected northeast Nigeria

Significant change in level of conflict

 

  • A significant decrease in the level of conflict, particularly if seen before June, would contribute to increased access to livelihoods, markets and humanitarian assistance.
  • A significant increase in the level of conflict would be expected to contribute to a further increase in the level of displacement, cause a further decline in market activity, and lead to limiting food and income source for more households and at more extreme levels.

Increased access and levels of food assistance

Great access for and delivery of food assistance would contribute to better food security outcomes for conflict-affected households in the northeast

IDP settlements in the northeast

Cholera or similar disease outbreak

Cholera outbreaks have been previously reported in the northeast. A large-scale outbreak could contribute to increased rates of malnutrition and mortality.

Shift in conflict to urban areas

Prior to 2014, many Boko Haram skirmishes were in urban centers. With the vast majority of IDPs in urban areas, now, a shift in the conflict would put many IDPs at risk.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
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