Skip to main content

Atypically high staple prices and low purchasing power drive high assistance needs

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • January 2022
Atypically high staple prices and low purchasing power drive high assistance needs

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Conflict across the northeast continues to be relatively stable, with some conflict persisting. Conflict in January was concentrated in Damboa, Gwoza, Bama, Ngala, Abadam, Nganzai, Chibok, and Kukawa LGAs, which has driven displacement and disruption to livelihood and market activities. According to IOM, between January 2 and 16, nearly 6,400 people movements were recorded in Adamawa and Borno states. Additionally, as of January 14, since late November 2021, over 19,500 households have left IDP settlements that closed near Maiduguri. Some previous IDPs have returned to their original communities, while others are within neighboring host communities. The one time received assistance will likely be exhausted in two months, and households will face restricted food and income access. This is further exacerbated by the government ban on humanitarian aid to resettled returnee IDPs. These households will likely rely on market purchases and community assistance, with some begging for food. Currently, displaced households and returnees among the host community have low food stocks. They are market reliant with limited purchasing power, which is expected to drive persistent widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In inaccessible areas, where population movement is restricted, and households face extreme difficulty accessing food and income, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely ongoing. 

    • In the Northwest and Northcentral states, banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling activities coupled with military operations have increased recently. There are reports of widespread kidnapping in some LGAs of Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, and Kebbi states in January. Additionally, bandits have set shops and grain silos on fire and stole cattle. Markets continue to function at below-average levels in the region, including major markets such as Illela, Goronyo, Isa, and Sabon Birni, in Sokoto State. Dry season activities are below average, likely driving a below-average dry season harvest. Households’ worst-affected by conflict are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, with some households expected to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). These outcomes are expected to persist through at least May. 

    • Dry season and other livelihood activities remain disrupted in conflict-affected areas. The recent main season harvest has been below average, and household food stocks are expected to be exhausted earlier than normal. High input prices, low purchasing power, and restricted access to floodplains, limiting dry season cultivation and constrain income and food access. Additionally, dry season cultivation will be constrained by the relatively low water levels in ponds and rivers from the previous growing season in some areas. Thus, the expected dry season harvest of rice, maize, sorghum, cowpea, and vegetables, will only slightly improve market supply in April/May, with prices remaining above average. 

    • Pastoral resources, including water and pasture, are lower than usual, particularly in areas of the Northwest, Northcentral and Southeastern zones. This is further compounded by ongoing conflict and a ban on open grazing in some states, restricting access to pasture. Livestock migration to southern areas will likely start earlier than usual due to constrained and early depletion of pastoral resources in northern areas. Those pastoral households who cannot migrate to the south will migrate to neighboring areas of Cameroon and Benin to access pasture, evade cattle rustling, and abide by the open grazing regulation in the Southern states. Livestock prices are atypically high, and cereal to livestock terms of trade are near average due to the high food prices. 

    • Despite improvements in global oil prices and higher demand, macroeconomic conditions in recent months have not significantly improved. International crude oil demand and prices continue to be elevated at over 90 USD/barrel in January. However, December annual inflation remained stable at 15.63 percent compared to 15.4 percent in November. This is after eight straight months of decline in annual inflation. Similarly, the foreign reserve declined in December 2021 from November; however, foreign reserves increased by 14.5 percent in 2021. The naira exchange rate to other foreign currencies continues to depreciate, particularly at the parallel market rates, leading to lower purchasing power and increased staple prices across the country during the postharvest period. Prices will continue to increase and peak during the lean season due to market pressure from the macroeconomy and lower than normal supply. 

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top