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Despite the main harvest, food prices remain elevated due to poor macroeconomic conditions

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • November 2020
Despite the main harvest, food prices remain elevated due to poor macroeconomic conditions

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The Nigerian macroeconomy remains poor as the GDP recorded a consecutive negative growth rate of 6.10 and 3.62 percent in the second and third quarters of 2020, respectively, pushing the economy into recession. The persisting weak economic performance is mainly attributable to the low global crude oil price on the international market, the continued indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recent protests, further limiting economic activity. The annual inflation rate increased for the fourteenth consecutive month, up to 14.23 percent in October from 13.71 percent in September, the highest increase since 2016. Similarly, the NGN depreciated to 482 NGN/USD on the parallel market in late November from 461 NGN/USD in October 2020.

    • Many households have limited ability to engage in income opportunities across northeastern Nigeria, such as petty trade, firewood sales, and unskilled labor. This, coupled with well-above-average staple food prices, is restricting purchasing power and market food access. While humanitarian food assistance in September 2020 across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states was nine percent higher than the previous month though did not significantly improve food access. As a result, many rural areas are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with inaccessible areas most likely facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) continues, where Famine is possible in the event there is a shift in conflict that isolates households from typical food and income sources for a prolonged period of time.

    • Banditry, kidnapping, and communal conflict persists and is at higher levels than in recent months, driving displacement. Moreover, this, coupled with flooding, is driving a below-average harvest with many displaced and conflict-affected households dependent on markets for food. Similarly, kidnapping and banditry levels increased in November 2020, with most communities being affected, leading to increased displacement. Flood damage to farmlands and infrastructure worsen the situation, and substantial populations are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and others are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the harvest.

    • The harvest of staples such as millet, rice, sorghum, and tubers such as yams and cassava is underway across the country. The sorghum harvest just started, while maize harvest is concluded in most areas. Market stocks are below pre-conflict levels across most conflict-affected areas. Despite the improvement in market stocks, staple prices are atypically high due to atypically high market demand, land border closures, and poor macroeconomic conditions. In Lagos, Ibadan, Maiduguri, and Damaturu markets, food prices are higher than the previous year and the five-year 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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