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Severe acute food insecurity persists in the northeast as lean season begins

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • May 2017
Severe acute food insecurity persists in the northeast as lean season begins

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • A substantial proportion of the population in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States in the northeast of Nigeria continues to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, with an increased risk of high levels of acute malnutrition and mortality. Less accessible areas, particularly in Borno State, remain at risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in 2017.

    • The scale of conflict in northeast Nigeria, related to the Boko Haram insurgent group, has continued to decline in recent months. The reduced level of attacks has facilitated an increase in trade flows, and has also led to an increased rate of return of displaced people to their locations of origin. Although the scale of conflict has decreased, significant areas, particularly in Borno State, remain inaccessible to humanitarian partners. WFP and other partners have increased food assistance to many affected populations, but limited funding has inhibited a broader humanitarian response. 

    • The depreciation of the naira (NGN) against the US dollar (USD) and regional currencies since June 2016 has contributed to a sharp increase in prices for staples in most markets, which were already elevated in the northeast due to conflict. In Maiduguri, a key reference market for the northeast, staple food prices in April 2017 were up by 50 percent or more from the previous year. In comparison with April 2015, retail maize prices are up 130 percent, millet prices are up by 150 percent, and sorghum by 145 percent. High staple food prices are expected to further restrict food access for poor households during the lean season through September.

    • Except for some conflict-affected areas of the northeast, poor rural households are currently engaged in land preparation, planting, and weeding activities to earn income. Due to dry season harvests in April/May, most households outside of the northeast are currently estimated to be experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity. However, as these stocks are exhausted by June, it is expected that high food prices and ongoing local conflicts will result in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes for many households through September 2017.

    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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