Food Security Outlook

Assistance needs to be high given increasing conflict in the west, high prices, and below-average harvests

October 2021 to May 2022

October 2021 - January 2022

February - May 2022

IPC v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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

  • Conflict, the poor macroeconomy, and a below-average main season harvest will likely drive high assistance needs in 2022. Conflict across the north of the country continues to limit households' movement to earn income and access to fields for the ongoing harvest. While conflict has declined in recent months in the Northeast, worst-affected poor households continue to face consumption gaps given limited market access and eroded coping capacity. In the Northwest, where high levels of conflict persist and market restrictions are in place, poor households increasingly face difficulty meeting their food needs. In the rest of the country, the harvest is increasing food security, but high food and non-food prices are expected to drive declining food access in early 2022 as household food stocks decline. 

  • In the Northeast, the harvest is contributing to food security improvements and is expected to be better than last year but still lower than pre-crisis levels as conflict and insecurity still disrupt full engagement in agricultural activities. Food prices remain high in the Northeast, and income-earning opportunities continue to be periodically disrupted by insecurity. Many poor households face slight to moderate food consumption gaps or are engaging in negative coping to meet their food needs and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes exist in Abadam, Kukawa, and Guzamala LGAs where affected households remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors and face significant difficulty engaging in activities to access food.  

  • Kidnapping and banditry in the Northwest and Northcentral states continues to escalate, leading the government to shut down telecommunication services in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger states amid military response. The ongoing conflict between the government and armed groups has led to displacement, market disruptions, and limitations to populations engaging in labor and accessing markets. Worst-affected areas are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) throughout the projection period, with some households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

  • Macroeconomic conditions have slightly improved alongside increasing international oil prices and demand, contributing to higher foreign reserves. Despite this, the value of the naira continues to depreciate due to high demand for foreign exchange. The depreciating currency and above-average local fuel costs have contributed to high transportation costs. Transportation costs, alongside below-average production and higher costs of importing food, have all placed upward pressure on staple food prices. The retail price of maize and millet is likely to stay 30 to 50 percent above the five-year average in early and mid-2022, straining poor households' capacity to purchase their food needs once household food stocks are exhausted. 

NATIONAL OVERVIEW

Current Situation

Despite the ongoing harvest across Nigeria, millions of households continue to have food consumption gaps due to the compounding impacts of conflict, poor macroeconomic conditions, and flooding and dry spells during the rainy season. Population displacement continues in northern Nigeria due to conflict, threatening livelihood and economic activities and humanitarians. The macroeconomic crisis continues, marked by extremely high food prices, increases in the cost of living, and low household purchasing power. Lastly, conflict, flooding, and poor performance of the rainy season in some areas are driving below-average production and household food stocks.

In the Northeast, conflict has slightly declined since mid-2021, although sporadic attacks persist (Figure 1). In Borno State, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) continues to extend its presence in the local communities and along major supply routes. As a result, the military has increased operations to liberate areas and populations as insurgents surrender. As of late September, over 13,000 members of Boko Haram have surrendered. The government is considering closing all IDP camps within the greater Maiduguri area by the end of December 2021.

Conflict, insecurity, and kidnapping in Northwest and Northcentral states have been ongoing at high levels in 2021 (Figure 2). On top of this, farmer/herder conflict is regularly disrupting the ongoing agricultural season. Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger states are the worst-affected states. With the high levels of conflict, the state governments cut telecommunications services and imposed movement and market restrictions in September across Zamfara and Kaduna states along with some areas of neighboring states. Additional restrictions include a ban on the sale of gas in jerrycans and limited interstate movement for livestock. On top of these measures, military operations are underway in Zamfara and Kaduna states and some parts of the neighboring states to curb the levels of conflict. According to the government, between July and September in Kaduna state, over 1,000 livestock were stolen, and 77 farms were destroyed, though it is likely numbers are now higher than this. Additionally, the conflict and movement restrictions are disrupting the ongoing main season harvest.

In the southern areas, kidnapping and insecurity have increased in 2021 with the Eastern Security Network (ESN), formed in late 2020, as the armed wing of the terrorist-designated Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group has increasingly attacked and killed security forces. The ESN has enforced a weekly sit-at-home for the incarceration of the IPOB leader as a protest who remains in the custody of the government security. The conflict has disrupted trade flows and the movement of farmers to their fields to harvest crops.

According to IOM, as of August, there are over 2 million IDPs in the Northeast and over 833,000 IDPs in the Northwest and Northcentral states. As conflict has continued since this assessment, it is likely the number of displaced people has further increased across northern Nigeria.

In August, nearly 600,000 people returned voluntarily or with the facilitation of the government to their area of residence from IDP camps in Maiduguri. Refugees from Niger and Cameroon are also being returned to areas of the Northeast. According to IOM, in August 2021, there are over 1.8 million IDP returnees in the Northeast. Both IDPs and those who have returned to their area of residence have faced difficulty engaging in the primary cropping season as they have faced difficulty accessing land and agricultural inputs. IDPs in towns are likely to rely heavily on income to access food but have below-average access to income-earning activities.

Overall, while macroeconomic conditions remain poor, there are signs of improvement due to sustained gains in the non-oil sector, specifically notably increased earnings in the agricultural, mining, and service sectors. There is continued improvement in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and declines in the annual inflation rate; however, the NGN continues to depreciate due to the continued high demand for foreign currency. In the second quarter of 2021, the GDP improved to slightly over five percent despite declines in earnings from the oil sector, which contracted by 12.7 percent from the second quarter of 2021. This is attributed to reductions in crude oil production to comply with the OPEC+ production ceiling. According to OPEC, on average daily oil production was 1.3 million barrels/day in the third quarter of 2021. This is the lowest level of production in 2021 and lower than the same time last year. The recovery in global crude oil prices is supporting increases in government revenue from oil.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the annual inflation has eased for the sixth consecutive month to 16.6 percent in September relative to 17.0 percent in August. Although, the inflation rate remains among the highest levels recorded in the last five years. Food inflation dropped to 19.6 percent from 20.3 percent between September and August, which is most likely driven by the availability of the harvest, increasing market supplies. The NGN on the official market is currently exchanging at 415 NGN/USD in late October and 573 NGN/USD on the parallel market. In recent months, the parallel and official exchange rates have continued to depreciate, mainly caused by increased demand and limited market supplies of foreign currencies. Thus, prices of imported commodities and food remain elevated. Furthermore, domestic oil prices remain high, driving up transportation costs, notably in deficit-producing and conflict-affected areas, putting pressure on market food prices.

Both international and domestic trade activities are ongoing somewhat normally. Trade, informal and formal, across international land borders is continuing due to the lower value of the NGN. Domestic trade is ongoing; however, in conflict-affected areas in the north, trade flows are disrupted. Trade flows are limited in the worst-conflict affected areas in the Northwest, Northcentral, and Northeast states (Figures 3 and 4). Markets in areas that remain mainly inaccessible are functioning minimally or not at all due to conflict and insecurity. Market and trade flows are notably limited in areas along the Lake Chad basin and in east-central Borno State bordering Cameroon. Insurgents are restricting access to such markets, and traders evade such areas for fear of attacks. Other markets are only accessible with military escorts. In the Northwest, on top of conflict, the government has closed down many major markets and restricted road access, further reducing market functioning and trade flows. Additionally, bandits have also resorted to market attacks, which temporarily disrupt market function. The worst-affected markets are in central parts of Zamfara State and adjoining areas of Katsina, Sokoto, and Kaduna states. Overall, this is decreasing the flow of commodities and lowering market supply, driving price increases on top of the already poor macroeconomic conditions. 

Due to lower-than-normal access to income and agricultural inputs and high levels of conflict, area planted across the country was below average. Area planted in northern surplus-producing areas was below average due to conflict disrupting the season and low access to land. New to the 2021 season, the Borno state government established 24 farms with about 10,000 hectares available for planting, where IDPs and poorer households could engage in agricultural labor to earn some income. The expected harvest from these farms will support the school feeding programs and assistance for displaced households. According to key informants, more households have engaged in the agricultural season this year. While this is driving higher than average aggregate production, at the household level, production is similar to the previous growing season as land access per household has not increased. Additionally, there are still poor households, especially displaced populations in the Northeast and the Northwest, that could not engage in the agricultural season due to limited land access.

Overall, the main season harvest is ongoing. FEWS NET expects it to be below average, driven primarily by below-average area planted due to persisting conflict, as well as the high cost of inputs and somewhat unfavorable rainfall (dry season spells and flooding). In addition, farmers in some areas are unable to harvest their crops due to conflict.

The rainy season ended at the normal time in October across most of the country. While rainfall was generally normal and ended with near-average rainfall (Figure 5), dry spells impacted cropping conditions. The dry spells lasted 7 to 14 days in July as well as in September and October during critical crop development stages (pre-flowering and seeding) in central, northern, and southwestern areas of the country. This resulted in wilting and decreased production prospects for rice, late-planted millet, sorghum, and cowpeas, particularly in areas of the Northeast, Northwest, Central, and Southwestern regions. Additionally, flooding, while not as severe as in 2020, led to crop damage and destruction. As of September, the areas worst affected by floods – based on the scale of population displacement and damage to infrastructure and farmland – were in Mokwa in Niger State; Suru, Argungu, and Bagudo in Kebbi; and Gassol in Taraba State. Harvest prospects are generally favorable in areas of the Northeast, particularly in Borno state, due to increased access to land.

Overall, vegetation conditions are mixed but broadly favorable (Figure 6). There is sufficient pasture and fodder for livestock. Cattle rustling activities persist in the northern and central states, limiting access to pasture in some areas. Livestock body conditions are generally favorable, and prices remain atypically high across the country. Livestock herd sizes among pastoralists remain below average mainly due to the cattle rustling activities, where bandits target the nomad population. This, coupled with anti-open grazing policy in some states, in attempts to decrease herder farmer conflict and facilitate the settling of nomads, restricts access to pasture, driving decreases in stocking rates. Livestock markets have been closed in Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, and Zamfara states as states governments closed them due to restrictions imposed to curb banditry, and movement has been restricted, limiting availability and supply. Livestock businesses will be limited, and traders will earn below-average income.

The main season harvest, which started in September, is increasing households' food stock and market supply. But even with the ongoing harvest, market supply is generally below average, though sufficient to meet household demand. Despite the ongoing harvest and generally normal market function, staple and cash crop prices remain significantly above the five-year average due to the poor macroeconomic conditions, high fuel prices, and transportation costs, and continued high market demand (Figure 7). Prices in absolute terms are relatively higher in conflict-affected areas relative to neighboring non-conflict affected areas.

Labor, especially agricultural opportunities, remain lower than normal during this harvest season due to below-average labor demand, exacerbated by conflict, high labor supply, and the poor macroeconomy. Income from agricultural labor in conflict-affected areas, notably in the north, is minimal. Labor migration remains limited due to lower capacity for better-off households to hire labor and high transportation costs.

Conversely, livestock and crop sales are favorable for most households as prices are high. Although lower than normal, poorer households' sale of cash crops supports their purchase of staple foods for consumption. Although herd sizes are lower than normal for many, pastoralists and agro-pastoralist are also able to sell fewer livestock than normal to purchase food due to favorable livestock prices and terms of trade.

Households also engage in unskilled labor such as petty trading, water vending, craft sales, and firewood sales to earn some income for market purchases. Overall, income from these sources is lower than average, notably in urban areas. Due to ongoing restrictions imposed by state governments which limit the cutting and sale of firewood, sales of this product are minimal in parts of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger states. In the absence of this income source, some poor households are relying on credit or borrowing. The Essential Need and Nutrition Assessment (ENNA) data collected by WFP in September found that income declined by over 70 percent compared to normal for urban households. Domestic remittances are also generally below average due to the compounding impacts of increased unemployment, depreciating value of the NGN, and reduced purchasing power.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of October 24, there are 210,460 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,882 associated deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of about 1.4 percent. Over 5.4 million people have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during the same period, while over 2.7 million others have been fully vaccinated. Some COVID-19 restriction measures to curb the spread of the disease continue, including social distancing, restricted public gatherings, and continued curfews between 12 to 4 am. These measures have limited impacts on household income-earning activities.

The scale of the cholera outbreak in 2021 has been of concern. According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), through October 10, 31 states and FCT-Abuja have reported positive cholera cases with a total of 90,890 positive cholera cases. A total of 3,208 fatalities have been reported, with a CFR of 3.5 percent. Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, and Sokoto states have the highest cholera cases. With the recent cessation of rainfall, the major predisposing factor for cholera, the trend of positive infections has declined across all affected areas.

In August, humanitarian actors provided food assistance to over 2.3 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States, of which about 1.4 million beneficiaries are in Borno State. This assistance is mainly targeted to IDPs in camps and some in host communities. The minimum expenditure basket for the beneficiaries is nearly 70 percent of their total food needs. The total food assistance for the three Northeast states in August is 14.0 percent higher than June and similar to July distributions. Similarly, food assistance for the three Northeast states in August 2021 is about 35 percent higher than last year. Some areas remain inaccessible to the humanitarian actors, further constraining food distribution to even high-risk areas. Recent attacks are reported in Kaga, Konduga, and Damboa in Borno state, and Gujba and Tarmua in Yobe state, disrupted assistance delivery.  

As the main harvest is ongoing, most households are consuming food from their own production, earning normal income, driving Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. However, with conflict and flooding disrupting normal livelihood activities coupled with poor macroeconomic conditions, many poor households have lower than usual purchasing power for food and non-food items. Many market-dependent urban poor households are able to purchase food for consumption, but they face difficulty accessing non-food items. Some of the flood-affected households remain displaced, and many are Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

Households in areas of the country affected by kidnapping, banditry, and flooding are engaged in agricultural labor, petty trading, and construction to access income, although income is below average. This, coupled with high food prices, is driving below-average purchasing power. Additionally, displaced households are unable to purchase sufficient food given limited income-earning activities. The ENNA conducted in September in the Northwest and Northcentral states showed food security outcome indicators, including Food Consumption Score, Household Hunger Scale, and reduced Coping Strategy Index, to be primarily indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely ongoing, particularly in parts of Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna, and Zamfara states. The worst conflict-affected households in some LGAs are expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

In the Northeast, displaced households mainly in camps are predominately reliant on humanitarian assistance to meet their food needs and are Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). Households in garrison towns have been mainly dependent on their own limited harvest and market purchases, with below-average purchasing power. Most displaced persons depend on limited harvest, community support, and markets to access limited quantities of food. It is expected that displaced households and most poor households in garrison towns are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Some areas of central Borno State face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes due to the proximity and access to Maiduguri, where households have better access to income to purchase food. In the southern part of Borno State, less impacted by conflict, poor households realized a near-normal crop harvest and are accessing normal income-earning activities, with most areas Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The areas of Borno and Yobe states that are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are those where poor households have limited to no production or stretch their harvest for a long period to moderate food consumption gaps.

In hard-to-reach areas of the Northeast, poor households are predominately reliant on very limited own harvest and wild foods. To access market foods, households predominately barter with minimal assets. Those households unable to cultivate are relying on limited food assistance and markets. Consequently, large food consumption gaps and high levels of malnutrition are likely persisting. In August, the joint partner Famine Monitoring System analysis among newly arrived population from inaccessible areas reported severe consumption deficits and concerning proxy SAM rates of 18.1 and 15.4 percent in Bama and Damboa LGAs, respectively. Critical (GAM levels equal or greater than 20 percent) proxy GAM rates were found in Bama, Damboa, Madagali, Gwoza, Konduga, and Kukawa.[1] September acute malnutrition data from the Famine Monitoring System indicated an overall proxy GAM and SAM prevalence of 28.7 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively, with the GAM prevalence classified as 'Extremely Critical.' The LGAs with an elevated malnutrition prevalence include Bama, Konduga, Magumeri, Madagali, and Gwoza in September, with the proportion of children identified as malnourished rate for children under five ranging between 15.8 percent and 32.1 percent. The increase in malnutrition rate during September relative to previous months is attributed to the influx of IDPs in Bama LGA, the peak lean season period, and the high prevalence of cholera and diarrhea. Nutrition outcomes have likely improved in some areas as the harvest has become available. Areas facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) include Abadam, Guzamala, and Kukawa LGAs in Borno state. Some households, cut off from humanitarian assistance and unable to engage in crop cultivation due to intense conflict for a prolonged period, face Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

Assumptions

The most likely scenario for October 2021 to May 2022 is based on the following national-level assumptions:

  • Conflict in the Northeast (where insurgency conflict is ongoing), and the Northwest and Northcentral regions (where banditry, kidnapping, and farmer/herder conflict is prevalent)  will likely persist; however, an overall decline is expected. Sporadic attacks are expected to persist in parts of Borno state, the epicenter of the Boko Haram attacks.
  • Due to military operations in the Northwest and Northcenter, bandits and kidnappers will likely relocate to neighboring states, leading to an increased level of kidnappings and attacks in areas of Kaduna, Jigawa, and Sokoto states.
  • Conflict in southern Nigeria is expected to continue. It is likely that with the start of the 2022 livestock migration in March, the number of reported conflict events between herders and farmers will start to increase and continue to do so through the reporting period. It is likely that 2022 will see higher levels of violence stemming from increased competition for resources, in addition to retaliation from the escalated levels of violence reported in August.
  • Macroeconomic conditions will likely improve through May 2022; however, the improvement will be slow due to the anticipated continued volatile domestic oil production and international oil prices. The NGN is expected to depreciate further on both the parallel and official markets despite the slight economic improvement, with the NGN likely to depreciate at a higher rate on the parallel market. This is due to high demand due to increased foreign exchange transaction time at the commercial banks, which will likely attract customers to the BDC (the BDC remains functional and is expected to continue accessing foreign currency through transfers).
  • Rainfall is expected to end normally in December in southern areas. Rainfall will likely start normally between February and March in bimodal areas and May in unimodal areas. Rainfall is forecast to be average overall.
  • Dry season cultivation is also expected to start normally in December along floodplains as river water recedes. Despite the government providing some agricultural inputs, engagement in dry season agriculture is expected to be similar to last year and slightly below average due to conflict limiting engagement. As a result, area planted and production for the dry season is anticipated to be below-average in conflict-affected areas and slightly above average in the rest of the country where households have access to government support, water for irrigation, and larger plots of land.
  • Despite the expectation for slow improvement, formal and informal international trade is still likely to remain below average due to poor macroeconomic conditions. Rice imports are likely to remain restricted due to the federal government initiative to boost local production. Imports coming in by sea, including wheat, are expected to be at below-average levels due to the continued low value of the currency. Cross-border trade between Nigeria and Cameroon, particularly between Gamboru and Fotokol, is expected to increase.
  • The flow of goods across the country, including staple foods, is expected to be normal; however, trade is likely to be disrupted in conflict-affected areas. Furthermore, trade flows in the Northwest and Northcentral states are expected to be below average following movement restrictions by the state government to combat banditry and kidnapping. Markets in less conflict-affected areas are expected to function at normal levels.
  • Prices of staple foods are expected to decline seasonally through December with the ongoing harvest as market supply increases and demand decreases (Figure 9). Although, prices are expected to remain above average. Staple food prices are expected to start increasing in February/March 2022, atypically early with the early depletion of harvests for many. Staple food prices in conflict-affected areas are expected to remain higher than in other areas, both in absolute terms and relative to their own five-year average. Trade flows into the Northwest states will remain restricted as the government enforces market restrictions and closures; however, the movement of goods is expected to improve once markets are opened for normal business before the end of 2021.
  • Pasture conditions and water availability are expected to remain generally favorable through the end of 2021. With the start of livestock movement from north to south in February, competition for resources will increase. Through mid-2022, pasture and water availability are expected to decline and be lower than average as livestock compete over resources amid the ban on open grazing and conflict. In conflict-affected areas, pasture availability is expected to remain limited as livestock are constrained in a few areas. Due to a grazing ban in Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Oyo, Lagos, Ebony, Delta, and Akwa Ibom, grazing is not likely to occur in these states. This will likely lead to an increased cost of fodder and other livestock feed, likely driving substantial increases in livestock prices.
  • Overall, livestock body conditions are expected to be favorable, with some isolated areas of below-average conditions. Livestock products will be readily available for herding households; however, access to livestock products is expected to decline in early 2022 as pasture declines, especially in conflict-affected areas and southeastern areas. For cropping households, access to livestock products is expected to be below-normal due to below-average purchasing power.
  • Demand for livestock is expected to remain similar to the previous year and above average. Eid-el Kabir, which precedes Ramadan in April, is expected to drive a further increase in demand for livestock where prices are expected to be significantly above average. Livestock to cereal terms of trade will be favorable for pastoral and agropastoral households. Livestock markets are expected to remain closed through late 2021 in Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, and Zamfara states, limiting availability and supply.
  • Agricultural labor is likely to remain the major source of income for most poor households in rural areas through the end of 2021. Based on key informant information, daily wages will likely remain below average across the country, with daily wages even lower in conflict-affected northern areas. In April/May, households are likely to engage in dry season farming activities. Although below average, wages are expected to be higher than last year, notably in the Northeast.
  • Labor availability and wages for urban poor households, including self-employment and petty trade, will likely remain below average through May 2022. Labor migration from rural areas, including conflict-affected areas, is expected to increase compared to last year, as well as remittances as more households engage in these strategies to access food and income.
  • Humanitarian operators are expected to provide assistance to poorer households, particularly in northern areas. Similarly, the government and other individuals are expected to continue supporting poor households. Assistance will likely reach between five and 10 percent of the total population, particularly in conflict-affected areas. Food rations are likely to remain below the minimum expenditure basket and be 70 percent or lower than households' kilocalorie needs.

Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

In the Northeast, conflict related to armed actors is expected to drive continued displacement and disruption of livelihood activities for most poor households and ultimately limit their income-earning opportunities and access to food. Most displaced households in settlements are likely to remain highly dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their food needs. Those displaced and residing within host communities, both in urban and rural areas, are expected to be nearly entirely market reliant as they are not able to engage in agricultural activities. Most non-displaced poor households had access to land and are now consuming harvests – which are better than last year – but still only expected to last a few months. These poor households will become market reliant in late 2021 to early 2022. With overall continued lack of access to sufficient income-earning opportunities to purchase food from markets, displaced populations in settlements will face difficulty meeting their non-food needs but are expected to receive sufficient assistance and face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. 

Poor and displaced households in Maiduguri, where market access and income-earning opportunities are relatively higher, will also be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In rural areas, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will remain relatively widespread as poor households aim to stretch a few months of harvest, complemented with low income for market purchases, but significantly high prices and few economic activities will continue to drive slight to moderate food consumption gaps. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes will likely exist in Abadam, Kukawa, and Guzamala LGAs, where poor and displaced households remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors and face significant difficulty engaging in activities to access food (Figures 10 and 11). 

FEWS NET previously communicated that Famine (IPC Phase 5) was likely in the Northeast of Nigeria in the event that conflict isolated households from key sources of food for a prolonged period of time – as occurred in Bama and Banki in 2016. It remains FEWS NET's analysis that Famine (IPC Phase 5) would likely occur in this scenario. However, FEWS NET assesses that the likelihood that households will be restricted by conflict from their food sources for a prolonged period over the next eight months is a scenario that has a low likelihood of occurrence. As such, FEWS NET does not expect Nigeria is facing a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in the projection period. Should conflict in Nigeria evolve such that the likelihood of this scenario increases and becomes a credible alternative scenario over the projection period, the potential that Nigeria faces a Risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will be reassessed. 

In the Northwest and Northcentral areas, households in areas less affected by conflict are able to engage in some cropping activities and have access to market and income-earning opportunities. However, the availability of the harvest is expected to be only for a short period of time and coupled with the high food prices, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected through at least May 2022. In areas significantly impacted by conflict, where high levels of displacement are expected, households face significant barriers to engaging in normal livelihood activities. Moreover, these households were unable to engage in crop cultivation and are mainly dependent on community support and markets to access food. In these areas, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are most likely through at least May 2022. Some households who remain displaced for a prolonged period and unable to engage in even a small level of cultivation during the recent season and have limited or no food stocks and are entirely reliant on market and community support are expected to face large food consumption gaps indicative of Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). These populations are likely in worst conflict-affected areas of Zamfara and Katsina states.

Poor households in the rest of Nigeria that are less affected by the conflict will engage in normal livelihood activities and consume own food and earn normal income. Off-season activities will also provide additional income and food access to poor households. As a result, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected throughout the projection period. However, poor urban households that are mainly market-dependent and have low purchasing power and poor households affected by flooding and remain displaced will likely face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through May 2022. 

The nutrition situation for children under five is generally expected to be Critical (10 to 14.9 percent GAM prevalence by weight-for-height z-score (WHZ)) across the north; however, some areas will likely have higher levels of acute malnutrition, particularly in hard-to-reach areas prone to conflict in the Northeast. Higher levels of acute malnutrition are expected to emerge in early and mid-2022 as food consumption declines. In Bama, Konduga, Guzamala, Abadam, Kukawa, Dambo, and Gwoza LGAs, elevated rates of acute malnutrition are likely. In the rest of the country, the levels of acute malnutrition are expected to fall within the Acceptable (GAM prevalence less than 5 percent) and Alert (GAM prevalence between 5 to 9.9 percent) in the rest of the country throughout the projected period.

Events that Might Change the Outlook

AREA

EVENT

IMPACT ON FOOD SECURITY OUTCOMES

National

Below average dry season cultivation

  • Reduced dry season harvest and reduced food access.
  • Atypical staple prices in many areas, constraining access.
  • Competition for labor work and sustain below-average labor wages.
  • This would likely drive more widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the northern parts of the country.

National

Substantial macroeconomic improvement.

  • Increased household purchasing power and food access.
  • Increased level of employment and remittances.
  • Increased access to inputs and level of cultivation in the upcoming season.
  • This would improve access across the country, and food security would likely improve to varying degrees depending on the extent households are relying on markets for food.

Northwest

Persisting conflict and prolonged restriction of population movement.

  • Increased population displacement.
  • Limited engagement of households to harvest crops, limiting food access.
  • Limited market access and income leading to reduced food access.
  • Sustain atypical staple prices and limited access.
  • This would likely lead to a deterioration in food security outcomes, where Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are possible. 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Caution should be used when interpreting these nutrition results as they are from populations who recently left hard-to-reach areas and are not representative of the area. It is likely this represents some of the worst-affected populations. As noted in the FMS bulletin, interpretation of this data should be done with caution due to the adapted methods that are used to gather information and data from inaccessible areas. 

 

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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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Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics