Flooding, high input prices, and conflict drive a below-average harvest and elevated food needs
IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
IPC v3.1 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Food assistance needs across Nigeria are well above average, and despite the ongoing harvest, millions of households continue to face food consumption deficits. The high level of needs is driven by the compounding impacts of the worst flooding since at least 2012, poor macroeconomic conditions, and high levels of conflict nationally. Flooding and conflict have led to significant disruption in agricultural activities, while poor macroeconomic conditions are driving a high cost of living and low purchasing power.
Rainfall from May to September for the 2022 rainy season has generally been favorable despite negative rainfall anomalies and short-lived dry spells in some areas (Figure 1). In most areas where rainfall was lower than average, the cumulative rainfall for the season is sufficient for healthy crop development. However, heavy rainfall in August and September, notably in the Sahel countries and northern Nigeria, in conjunction with the release of water from a dam in neighboring Cameroon, resulted in large-scale flooding in riverine areas, particularly in the north along the Komadugu Yobe River Basin, and the south along the Benue and Niger rivers, resulted in the worst flooding in the last decade.
The flooding led to a significant destruction of infrastructure, particularly bridges, roads, markets, and cropping areas, and displacement and disruption to harvesting activities. As reported by the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the floods have affected over 2.5 million people across the country, reportedly killing over 600 people and displacing an estimated 1.5 million. According to satellite estimates by WFP, as of mid-October, over 3.6 million hectares of land, including nearly 750,000 hectares of cropland, were flooded in Nigeria. This is roughly eight percent of the total hectarages cropped for major staples, including cereals, legumes, and tubers across the country. Flooding occurred in all but Ekiti State. Some of the most significant impacts of flooding on crops were in Benue, Jigawa, Plateau, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger, and Bauchi States, some of the major surplus production areas in Nigeria. Other heavily flood-affected states include Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, and Yobe States in the Northeast of Nigeria. Similarly, fishing activities have been substantially impacted in Cross River, Anambra, Bayelsa, and Rivers states. Meanwhile, the largest number of people affected by flooding was in Kogi, Taraba, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, and Cross River states.
The floods have also cut off major roads across the country, crucial for domestic trade and supply movement. Food and goods, including fuel, that travel from the South to the North typically travel through Kogi State, where the Niger and Benue rivers converge. However, excessive flooding of rivers in Kogi State has washed out major roads, making the throughway no longer accessible by vehicle, cutting off many of the northern states from southern trade. Consequently, food and fuel are becoming scarce in some markets across the affected areas. Flood waters also washed out a key bridge in Jigawa State that links the Northwest with the Northeast along the Gujungu-Hadejia highway, limiting access to Gujungu market, regional market traders use to access Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. Additionally, some roads are closed to motorists as well as markets in Bagega and Danjibga in Zamfara State. Road closures constrain trade activities, limit food flow to affected areas, and disrupt marketing activities.
Conflict continues at high levels across most of the country, notably in the northwest and northcentral states through October (Figure 3). Banditry, kidnapping, and general insecurity have increased in recent months, notably in the northwest and central areas of the country. In northcentral Nigeria, particularly in Benue, Nasarawa, and Niger states, farmer herder conflicts escalated in October, with Fulani herders continuing to clash with civilians and community militias. The ongoing insecurity continues to trigger fear in local communities, resulting in localized displacement, lack of access to typical livelihood activities, and restricted mobility. Meanwhile, in northwestern Nigeria, conflict persists, with Zamfara state remaining the epicenter of conflict, mainly between state militias, local defense forces, and the Nigerian military. In mid-October, the Zamfara state government enacted a total lockdown in Anka, Bukkuyum, and Gummi LGAs to curb insecurity. In the Northeast, the conflict incidences have continued to decline in recent months.
While conflict in the Northeast remains slightly more stable, with comparatively fewer conflict events occurring per month than in the northwest and northcentral regions, fatalities remain high. In the last two months, conflict events have occurred in Abadam, Gubio, Guzamala, Bama, Konduga, Kaga, and Damboa LGAs in Borno State, primarily triggering populations to displace to nearby garrison towns for protection. Additionally, with the closure of many IDP camps in Borno state, IDPs are being forced to return to areas inaccessible to humanitarians, increasing the insecurity of these populations.
In southern Nigeria, conflict has recently intensified. In the Southeast, the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement has continued a low-level insurgency attack targeting security personnel and installations in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states. In mid-October, the Nigerian military launched 'Operation Still Waters', a three-month operation to address insecurity in Lagos and Ogun states. The operation comes amid a sustained increase in recorded kidnaps across both states since 2020. The region has seen a marked increase in bandit-led kidnapping over this period, as groups have moved increasingly southwards from northcentral states. This is now being exacerbated by the upcoming election, with ACLED reporting that Ogun State saw a 140 percent increase in conflict incidents in the last week of October compared to previous weeks, reportedly due to election-related violence.
Displacement has increased significantly in the last two months due to both ongoing conflict as well as widespread flooding. Most of the households recently displaced by flooding are residing nearby with relatives or in camps. According to IOM, in October, about 6,190 new arrivals were recorded into IDP camps in Adamawa and Borno states, relative to the 4,223 people recorded in September across the two states in the Northeast. Many displaced populations are not likely going to camps and are residing within communities and/or with relatives. Displacement in the Northeast is predominately caused by attacks by insurgents and military operations in affected areas. Meanwhile, in
September, a total of 4,807 individuals were reportedly displaced from various attacks across Benue, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states and are residing in camps, informal settlements, or host communities. Similarly, IOM data collection in August and September revealed that there are over one million IDPs in the northwest and northcentral states, which is 12.2 percent more IDPs than in these areas relative to December 2021. Across this region, the largest IDP populations are in rural areas of Benue, Katsina, and Zamfara states. IDPs in camps are mainly in urban areas and have some access to humanitarian assistance. At the same time, households in host communities rely mainly on market purchases, own produce, and community support to access food.
The main season harvest is underway across the country for most cereals and tubers, with the sorghum harvest typically beginning in November and December. However, flooding, high input prices, and restricted access to farmlands in flood-affected and conflict-prone areas have driven down production prospects. Due to the flooding, farmlands in the lowland areas, particularly in riverine and floodplain communities in both the North and South, have been submerged, causing damage to crop production, including maize, millet, rice, cowpea, and sorghum.
Overall, 2022 national production from the main season harvest is expected to remain below last year and the average due to a myriad of factors, including crop destruction due to flooding, high cost of inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers, and large-scale displacement and subsequent disruption to livelihood activities. The harvest in conflict-affected areas of the northwest and northcentral states is expected to be well below average. In contrast, production in the Northeast is expected to be slightly above last year, following improvement in the security situation.
The macroeconomic crisis persists, with the October annual inflation rate at 21.09 percent relative to 20.77 percent in September, the highest in 19 years. While the inflation rate remained relatively stable between September and October, it is 5.09 percent higher than October 2021. The continued poor macroeconomic conditions are attributable to food supply disruptions due to widespread flooding, depreciation of the Nigerian Naira (NGN), high transportation costs, low foreign reserves, and revenue from trade, notably oil exports. Despite continued high global fuel prices, revenue from oil exports is declining in Nigeria. This is mainly attributable to the decrease in crude oil production, which has dropped to slightly below 1.0 million barrels/day in August 2022, and consequently the inability to meet the OPEC+ quota for the country, which has been around 1.8 million barrels/day since June 2022.
The short supply of foreign exchange persists in Nigeria in October. Despite the ongoing efforts of the government to release foreign exchange to banks to prevent the depreciation of the NGN and increase liquidity, poor macroeconomic conditions continue to drive a steady depreciation of the NGN. In October, the NGN is exchanging at 440 NGN/USD in the official market and 835 NGN/USD on the parallel market.
Fuel in much of the country remains scarce, causing a below-average supply and elevated prices. In October, on average, formal fuel prices are 185 NGN/liter; however, fuel is rarely available. The fuel price remains high relative to October 2021. As a result, most motorists are forced to purchase fuel on the informal market, where prices are roughly 24 percent higher than current official market fuel prices and around 40 percent higher than the same time last year. Similarly, diesel sells for around 900 NGN/liter, roughly 300 percent higher than the same time last year. The very high fuel costs are driving up transportation costs across the country, impacting access to electricity for the production and manufacturing of goods and contributing to increased market prices and limited food availability and accessibility.
Nigeria's primary means of transport for export and imports remains maritime. During the first and second quarters of 2022, over 98 percent of imports and 94 percent of exports were through maritime transport. Road and air travel are the other means of transportation for imports and exports. The level of exports increased by five percent between the first and second quarters, while imports declined by about seven percent within the same period. Similarly, largely informal cross-border trade remains below average due to the persisting conflict, coupled with the depreciating value of the NGN relative to the CFA.
While staple food prices are stable and, in some areas, have moderately declined with the harvest between September and October. The continued macroeconomic market pressure, higher-than-normal demand, ongoing high transportation costs due to fuel shortages and flooding continues to drive considerably higher staple food prices than the five-year average. Furthermore, conflict-related market disruptions are driving low supply and high prices (Figures 4 and 5). Staple prices remain higher in Maiduguri market in the Northeast and Kaura Namoda market in Zamfara state, Northwest region, relative to other markets, given the persisting conflict in these areas. Between July and August, maize prices slightly declined between three to eight percent when the early maize harvest started, impacting market prices in Bodija, Maiduguri, and Dawanau (Figure 6). Similarly, millet prices declined by about nine percent in Dawanau market between July and August but increased by five percent in Bodija and two percent in Maiduguri within the same period (Figure 7).
Pasture and water have been sufficient for livestock across much of the country, resulting in generally favorable body conditions; however, the recent flooding has led to the spikes in livestock mortality in the worst flood-affected areas. Additionally, persistent conflict in the northern and central states has limited access to pasture and water for some herders, driving lower stocking rates in the affected areas. Additionally, policies that ban grazing in the southeastern states and Benue State have limited pasture access. Consequently, in the North and conflict-affected areas with a high nomadic population, livestock herd sizes continue to be lower than typical, with some households having extremely small livestock holdings. The nomadic populations are targeted explicitly by cattle rustling bandits, and some have relocated to safer areas. By contrast, some nomadic populations have lost all their livestock and turned to unskilled labor to earn income and access food. Some pastoralists who have lost large portions of their herds have resorted to kidnapping and banditry as reprisal, particularly in the northwest areas.
Livestock markets remain functional in most parts of the country. However, due to the large-scale flooding and ongoing conflict in some areas, livestock movements are restricted, limiting supply to markets. Consequently, livestock prices remain elevated, particularly in the southern markets where flooding was most acute. While average cattle sell for roughly 200,000 NGN per head in Illela market in northwestern Nigeria, cattle cost about 600,000 NGN per head in Aba market in southern Nigeria. Cattle prices in Aba, Illela, and Maiduguri cattle markets are higher by about 18, 11, and nine percent, respectively, relative to last year. This has directly impacted the livestock terms of trade (ToT) in these areas. In September, in Aba market, one head of cattle could purchase 25 bags of maize, while in Maiduguri, a head of cattle would buy only eight bags of maize. The lower terms of trade in Maiduguri is attributable to high transportation costs, informal taxes, and insecurity in the area. Despite the elevated staple food prices, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists are selling less livestock to purchase food due to favorable livestock prices.
Overall, income from agricultural activities remains below average across the country. In the worst conflict and flood-affected areas of the country, agricultural-related income was particularly poor, lower than both the previous year and five-year average. Poorer households in many of the heavily affected areas rely on agricultural day labor as a primary income source for food through the main harvest period. However, agricultural labor opportunities, predominately harvesting activities, are constrained attributable to the low crop yields, below-average labor demand, and below-average ability for better-off populations to hire poorer households despite the high labor supply due to the disruption of households' normal livelihood activities following the flooding.
Labor migration has also been limited given the impacts of the flooding, including lack of mobility, high transportation costs, fuel shortages, and the lower purchasing power of the better off. Some poor households are unable to migrate to engage in typical income-earning activities, such as construction, block molding, water hawking, and petty trade activities in areas of the country. To cope, many households are selling land, fishing gear, and tools to earn income and access food.
The Essential Needs and Nutrition Assessment (ENNA)/Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) data collected by WFP in September found that income declined by over 70 percent compared to normal for urban households. The high declines in income opportunities and low purchasing power in urban areas, particularly among most poor households, is driving more households to engage in unskilled labor such as petty trade, craft sales, and firewood sales to earn additional income. However, income from these sources is lower than average, notably in urban areas, due to below-average labor demand and increased labor competition. Further, due to ongoing mobility restrictions in conflict-affected areas, firewood collection and sales are particularly limited in areas of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger states. In the absence of this income source, some households rely on credit or borrowing money to access food.
The compounding impacts of increased unemployment, the depreciation of the NGN, and reduced purchasing power have also driven domestic remittances to below-average levels. Similarly, remittances into the country have declined by about four percent relative to the previous quarter; however, they remain significantly higher than observed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Populations residing in IDP camps in northeastern Nigeria remained largely dependent on humanitarian assistance through the lean season. In September 2022, humanitarian actors provided food assistance to roughly 2.0 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, down from the 2.3 million who received humanitarian food assistance in August. Most of the beneficiaries that received food aid were in Borno state, with food assistance rations meeting 70 percent of households' daily food needs and primarily targeting populations in displacement camps.
In October, NEMA also released 12,000 tons of food for distribution to flood-affected populations, supporting an estimated 315,000 beneficiaries across the country with food assistance in mid-October. Some state governments have also approved financial support to flood-affected populations. For example, Rivers and Bayelsa states have released one billion NGN and 450 million NGN, respectively, to the flood victims in those states. While the beneficiaries will have increased food access, it will not entirely mitigate the existing food consumption deficits due to the size of rations households will likely receive.
Large-scale flooding has driven many households to be displaced and become atypically market reliant during the harvesting period. Households are working to meet their food needs through the limited available harvest and some income for food purchases. Displaced populations in camps and makeshift shelters have limited assistance from government, partners, and relatives, while those in host communities are mainly dependent on markets and some community assistance. However, many households still face difficulty accessing their basic and/or food needs. As a result, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are ongoing among these populations.
In the Northeast, many IDPs have returned to homesteads or nearby locations as the government continues to close IDP camps, particularly in Borno state. The IDPs who remain in camps continue to rely on humanitarian assistance for their basic food needs and are facing Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. Across the rest of the Northeast, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are ongoing. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes continue in areas where the agricultural season was disrupted by conflict and/or flooding, and households have minimal access to the harvest. They are complimenting their production with market purchases and wild food consumption. However, access to these food sources is insufficient to fulfill household food needs. Some households within the Northeast are likely to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes; however, these outcomes are not meeting the criteria to result in area-level Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Households that face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely those who have no production with little to no income and are reliant on wild foods and begging for food.
Many conflict-affected households in the Northwest and Northcentral states remain displaced and face difficulty earning income for food purchases. Despite the ongoing harvest, staple prices remain atypically high, leading to restricted food access for households that depend mainly on the market with lower-than-normal purchasing power. These households are in makeshift camps and host communities and have resorted to unskilled labor, petty trading, construction, and agricultural labor to earn income and some food. Consequently, these households face food consumption gaps and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, some of the most conflict-affected and vulnerable households are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
Recent flooding has also exacerbated the chronic issue of poor sanitation and hygiene access, particularly in the northeastern and northwestern regions, increasing the risk of the spread of water and vector-borne diseases like Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), malaria, and cholera. A cholera outbreak has been ongoing in Nigeria since January 2022, hitting hardest in the already largely inaccessible, highly vulnerable, and conflict-affected areas of the Northeast and Northwest, reportedly most prevalent in Borno, Yobe, and Katsina states. Cholera and flood-affected households now have increasingly restricted access to healthcare or sanitation and hygiene facilities, with a higher risk of spread. Additionally, the large-scale displacement triggered by the floods in cholera-affected areas can further spread the disease to previously unaffected LGAs.
The most likely scenario from October 2022 to May 2023 is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- Macroeconomic conditions are expected to remain poor due to the continued underperformance in the oil sector, despite the rise in global energy prices. Crude oil production will most likely stay below OPEC's approved quota for Nigeria. Inflation is expected to remain considerably elevated, driven primarily by soaring food and fuel prices and further exacerbated by continued high global food prices. The high prices are anticipated to continue limiting food accessibility, agricultural inputs, and raw materials for fertilizer inputs. Similarly, demand for foreign exchange will continue to exceed supply, and depreciation of the NGN on both the parallel and official markets will likely persist through at least May 2023.
- The 2023 general elections are expected to present significant challenges for the state security apparatus, and the national security landscape is likely to further deteriorate in the lead-up to, during, and in the aftermath of the February 2023 electoral cycle. Both leading candidates are likely to pursue military-centric approaches to address security concerns, with little change in the trajectory of nationwide insecurity.
- Conflict in the Northeast of the country has continued to render much of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states insecure, with an anticipated increasing number of attacks on government security forces in the lead-up to and following the 2023 elections. The insecurity in inaccessible areas is expected to continue to restrict movement and some livelihood activities. With the recent extensive expansion of armed actors beyond their northeastern strongholds, claiming a series of attacks in Kano, Kogi, Edo, and Ondo states since September, insecurity will continue to increase in these states as well. ISWAP attacks in the Middle Belt will likely increase significantly throughout the scenario period compared to 2021, increasing by relatively greater levels than those likely to be observed in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states.
- The trend in insecurity in the northwest and northcentral regions is expected to remain at recently observed high levels. Following the harvest and due to the 2023 general elections, incidents of violence are likely to spike in February and March 2023, with increasing levels of retaliatory attacks between farmers and herders, followed by a relative decline until the start of the rainy season in May 2023. Urban areas are likely to see more significant increases in criminal banditry, with groups improving their capabilities within a relative security vacuum and the increasing nexus between criminal gangs and jihadi groups. The primary targets for attacks are likely to be business sites and commercial vehicles in transit along major highways in the Northwest.
- Dry season cultivation is expected to start normally in December along floodplains as river and flood water recedes. In heavily flood-affected areas, soil erosion and delayed floodwater recession are anticipated to delay some planting activities; however, affected farmers may relocate to other viable areas for dry-season cultivation. While households will try to recover main season harvest losses, engagement in dry season agricultural activities and the anticipated areas planted are expected to be lower than normal as agricultural input prices remain high, and conflict is expected to continue. However, planting in conflict-affected areas of the Northeast will most likely increase slightly compared to last year as some households return to their area of origin. Meanwhile, dry season planting is expected to be much lower than average in northwest and north-central states due to the escalation in conflict and restricted mobility.
- As conflict, insecurity, and poor macroeconomic conditions persist, cross-border trade is expected to remain below average through May 2023. Imports are expected to be much lower with the depreciation of the NGN relative to other foreign currencies. The combined impact of the depreciating value of the NGN and the high transport cost, including air and maritime transport, will continue to limit international imports and exports. Imports from neighboring countries, particularly for grains, will be above last year due to the increase in demand following the poor domestic grain harvest.
- Overall, the domestic flow of goods, including staple foods, across the country is expected to remain below normal due to persisting conflict, recent flooding, high transportation costs, and restricted road access. Trade disruptions are particularly likely in conflict-affected areas, causing below-average trade flow in those areas. The movement of goods in areas less affected by conflict within the country will be much higher than in conflict-affected areas. However, transportation costs will remain higher than normal due to the high price of diesel.
- Market supply is anticipated to be slightly below last year and the five-year average in most of the country and minimal in conflict and flood-affected areas. In conflict-affected areas, market supply is expected to be limited not only due to the low harvest but also low trade flows to these areas.
- Market demand is expected to decrease slightly with the seasonal harvest, but demand will generally remain above average. This, along with the slight increase in market supply, may drive declines in staple food prices through December before increasing atypically early in February/March 2023 (Figure 9). Institutional purchases by the government and processing companies will likely be above average due to the relatively low stock from harvest. Staple food prices in conflict-affected areas are anticipated to also be above average and higher than in other areas of the country.
- Pasture and water availability are expected to be sufficient for livestock consumption throughout the scenario period.
- Livestock movement from north to south, which typically starts in February, will most likely be below average as conflict and open grazing bans in some states limit movement. Livestock movement towards Niger and Cameroon is anticipated to be above average due to restrictions on open grazing in some northcentral and southern states. An increase in the cost of fodders is expected following limited access to some grazing areas in Benue and Plateau.
- Livestock body conditions are generally expected to remain good through December with sufficient pasture and water availability; however, the prevalence of livestock diseases will likely increase due to the recent flooding, impacting livestock body conditions in flood-affected areas between October and December. A normal decrease in livestock body conditions is also expected starting in January/February 2023 when pastoralists seasonally no longer have access to sufficient pasture or water and will have to rely on feeds bought during the rainy season or livestock migration where possible.
- Livestock prices are expected to be higher than normal following seasonal and festive season trends throughout the scenario period. Demand for livestock is expected to be normal through the scenario period and likely to increase during the New Year celebrations in January and Eid el Fitr in April. Prices are anticipated to peak between December/January and April. The livestock market supply within the country will be below normal due to insecurity and the ban on open grazing.
- Daily wages and income from agricultural labor from harvesting and dry season activities are expected to remain below average and significantly below-average to minimal in conflict-affected areas across the North. This is attributable to below-average labor demand and high competition for labor work across the country, particularly in conflict-affected areas with high levels of displacement.
- Income from non-agricultural labor, including casual labor, petty trading, firewood sales, and self-employment, is expected to remain below average through the end of May 2023, mainly due to the poor macroeconomic situation.
- Labor migration from urban areas and conflict-affected areas is expected to be similar to last year and above average in the dry season, as households continue to explore options to increase food and cash income, further increasing labor supplies in those areas. Migrated households are expected to engage in unskilled labor, petty trade, and agricultural work during the off-season.
- Remittances from abroad are expected to increase slightly above 2021; however, they will remain below average. Domestic remittances from urban to rural areas will likely remain below last year, and the average as the NGN continues to depreciate.
- Humanitarians and the government will likely continue to provide humanitarian food assistance to populations in need; however, due to funding constraints, the number of people and ration sizes are likely to be somewhat lower than average in the Northeast. Similarly, the government and community members are expected to continue their support to vulnerable households across the Northwest, where assistance is likely to remain at similar levels to the previous year.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
Widespread flooding across the country with substantial impacts on main season harvest and significant population displacement along major river floodplains have resulted in constrained livelihood activities and limited food access for affected households during the harvest period. The large flood-affected population has limited support from the government, communities, or relatives. Thus, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected across flood-affected areas, mainly in the southern region through May 2023. However, households affected by flooding will likely engage in dry season cultivation and fishing when water is expected to recede, and with dry season harvest, these households will have increased food access and consequently will likely be facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1).
The level of conflict in the Northeast remains relatively calm in October. Although, displaced populations faced difficulty engaging in crop production and agricultural labor and have constrained food and income due to the long-term erosion of their livelihoods. IDP households in camps mainly rely on food assistance and face Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. However, IDP households living outside camps receive limited humanitarian aid due to funding constraints. They will likely face food consumption gaps resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity between February and May 2023. To cope, these households will partly depend on community support, water vending, petty trading, and construction work to earn limited income and access food. Others will likely rely on craft sales, domestic labor, and unskilled labor to earn income.
Most IDP households in host communities and poor households have access to limited income-generating opportunities, engage in restricted crop cultivation, and rely mainly on markets to access food. With many host community households housing out-of-camp IDPs, there is often high dependency on fewer productive household members. The ongoing harvest of maize, millet, sesame, cowpea, and groundnut is unable to mitigate all of the food consumption deficits for vulnerable households, and most households will likely experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least May 2023. In localized areas that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, wild food consumption and bartering are the main sources of food. In these areas it is likely that some of the population will experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
In most parts of the Northwest, the level of banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling activities continue to increase, resulting in population displacement, market disruptions, and restricted crop harvest. Further, staple prices remain atypically high due to restricted market access and high market demand. Humanitarian assistance remains restricted in the Northwest, and most conflict-affected households engage in menial jobs, firewood sales, petty trade, and migration to access little income and access some food. Similarly, movement restrictions by some conflict-affected households leads to constrained income and food access. Many households are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. Households in some areas are unable to engage in normal livelihood activities and thus have limited income-earning opportunities, resulting in a high reliance on unskilled labor such as water hawking, construction work, and crafts sales. This will result in most households experiencing significant food consumption gaps and facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Many of these households have been displaced and/or have limited access to farmland, bandits have rustled their livestock, or they have encountered increased expenditures due to bandits and kidnappers. Thus, households will have to rely on selling their assets, including available livestock, farm tools, and fishing gear, or migrate to urban areas to meet basic food needs.
Historical nutrition data show that acute malnutrition levels fluctuate slightly by season. Typically levels of acute malnutrition decrease during the post-harvest (October-January) period in many areas. Despite the anticipated seasonal improvement in food consumption at the household level and the reduction in the prevalence of some diseases (malaria, diarrhea) during the dry period, the nutrition situation is expected to be between Serious and Alert in most LGAs with somewhat higher levels of acute malnutrition expected in conflict-affected areas.
Events that Might Change the Outlook
Table 1. Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario.
Impact on food security outcomes
Widespread post-election violence in February
Above-average dry season cultivation
Significant increase in the level of conflict
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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.
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