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Despite main harvest, poor macroeconomic conditions drive high food prices and poor food access

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • September 2020
Despite main harvest, poor macroeconomic conditions drive high food prices and poor food access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Continued higher levels of conflict than in recent years in northeastern Nigeria have led to an increased strain on livelihoods. This is further exacerbated by flooding in localized areas of the northeast and atypically high staple food prices during the extended lean season from April/May through the end of September. This has increased the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance. Many conflict-affected households are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes. Households remaining in areas inaccessible to humanitarian actors are likely experiencing similar or worse food security outcomes relative to adjoining accessible areas.

    • Escalating levels of conflict, related to armed banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and communal tension in northwestern and north-central states is driving increases in fatalities, displacement, and further constraints on livelihood activities. Coupled with COVID-19 and flooding related impacts, substantial populations in Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Benue, and Niger states, as well as in Katsina, Zamafara, Kebbi, and Sokoto states in the northwest are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.

    • On September 30, there are 58,647 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country. Curfews have been further relaxed in recent weeks allowing households to return to their somewhat normal livelihoods. Similarly, international and domestic flights have fully resumed, while worship centers and schools are gradually re-opening across the country. The relaxation in control measures is resulting in increased engagement in income-earning activities, though at below-average levels. Urban poor households have notably increased economic activity as they heavily rely on income to purchase food.

    • Poor households in areas not affected by conflict and flooding are consuming own foods as crops become available from the early green harvest, a slight decline in staple prices as the green harvest reaches the market, and increased income-earning opportunities. This is resulting in increased food access for market-dependent households. This is also complemented by continued palliatives, including food and cash transfer from government and corporate organizations targeted at vulnerable households. Consequently, these households are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

    • In September, the crude oil production quota decreased, and though there was some stability in oil prices, government revenue from oil continues to decline. The formal exchange rate of the NGN generally remained stable from August to September, as demand for the currency remains elevated. The annual inflation rate rose to 13.22 percent in August, the highest rate since March 2018. The macroeconomy is expected to continue to deteriorate in at least the medium term.

    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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