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High levels of conflict in the north and poor macroeconomic conditions drive high assistance needs

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • January 2021
High levels of conflict in the north and poor macroeconomic conditions drive high assistance needs

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite the slight increase in foreign exchange reserves, macroeconomic conditions remain poor. The annual inflation rate increased for the 16th straight month to 15.75 percent in December 2020, the highest since November 2017, compared to 14.89 percent in November. Due to the macroeconomic pressures, petrol prices are 14 percent higher than at the same time last year. Prices of most staple food remain atypically high in January,  about 50 to 100 percent above average. This is not only driven by the poor macroeconomic but also the below-average 2020/21 harvest and market supply coupled with atypically high market demand.

    • Income opportunities across the northeast remain limited, given persisting and continued high levels of conflict with sustained displacement. Despite the recent harvest, many households continue to be market dependent with lower than usual purchasing power. In December 2020, humanitarian actors provided food assistance to almost 4.0 million beneficiaries across Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. Many households continue to have limited access to food, and face Crisis (IPC Phase 3), while those in difficult to access areas are expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4). A Famine (IPC Phase 5) risk persists in the event households are cut off from food and income sources, including humanitarian assistance for a prolonged period of time.

    • Banditry, kidnapping, and communal conflict increased over the last month in the northwest and central states. According to IOM, 2,541 individuals were displaced with 43 casualties in north-central and northwest regions between January 4 to 24. The harvest in this part of the country was below average, primarily driven by conflict and flooding, where worst-affected households continue to rely on the market for food with limited income opportunities. A substantial portion of the population is experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. Households who remain displaced and have limited income are expected to continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Food security outcomes are expected to somewhat improve with the dry season harvest in April. ​

    • The recent main season harvest has ended across the country, and households outside the conflict-affected areas are consuming own foods and earn income from off-season labor activities. The dry season cultivation underway at relatively above-average levels. Planted crops have favorable crop growth and are in good condition. Land preparation for the upcoming growing season is expected to begin in February, increasing household access to income; however, access to income is expected to be below-average.      

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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