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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes anticipated in the harvest period in conflict-affected areas

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • September 2021
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes anticipated in the harvest period in conflict-affected areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Attacks have been reported in several areas of the Northeast, including Kala Balge, Guzamala, Mobbar, Konduga, Marte, and Damboa LGAs in Borno tate as well as Geidam, Yusufari, and Tarmua LGAs in Yobe tate, driving further displacement. Due to conflict and lower than normal income to purchase agricultural inputs, the ongoing main harvest is expected to be limited among displaced and poor households. Staple food prices remain significantly above average, constraining food access for market reliant households. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected in worst-affected hard-to-reach areas, with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes anticipated across much of the Northeast. As the harvest season sets in, in October, food access among some households is expected to improve, where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to become more widespread in the region. Although, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist in some areas. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) continues, where Famine could occur if households are cut off from their typical food and income sources and humanitarian assistance for a prolonged period of time.

    • In early September, telecommunication services were cut off in Zamfara State as part of a military operation and restrictions to hinder the movement, information sharing, and activities of bandits. Soon after, in mid-September, telecommunications were cut off, and restrictions were put in place in areas of Sokoto and Katsina states. On September 29, telecommunication services were also shut down with restrictions enacted in neighboring Kaduna State. Telecommunications services are now indefinitely cut off. Along with the telecommunications blackout, weekly markets and main transportation routes were closed, restrictions were put on vehicular movement, and firewood sales were banned. Daily markets remain open in larger towns. With primary transportation routes closed, there is a restricted flow of fuel and commodities into the region, driving prices even higher. The limitations on movement and firewood sales, along with declines in the availability of markets, have resulted in the reduction in household income, driving household purchasing power down, especially in worst-affected areas.  

    • Displacement and the telecommunications blackout and associated restrictions and military operations have disrupted the ongoing agricultural season. Prior to the telecommunications blackout in the Northwest, conflict and attacks on civilians were at very high levels, leading to high levels of displacement. According to IOM, over 833,000 people were displaced in the Northwest and North Central States between late June and late July, with over half of the IDPs located in the Northwest. Displaced households have not been able to engage in the agricultural season as they do not have access to land. In the Northwest, some rural households have migrated to urban areas fleeing ongoing military operations or conflict. Now, these households have to travel back to farmlands to continue harvesting activities, delaying the harvest.

    • Currently, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely ongoing in the worst-affected areas of the Northwest. Some worst-affected households are likely to experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) outcomes until the harvest is fully established. The current movement and market restrictions are expected to continue limiting household income and delaying the harvest. While the harvest is expected to improve household food access as households consume own-produced foods, household production in worst-affected areas is only likely to improve food access for a short period of time. Moreover, household income is expected to be lower than average across the Northwest as household purchasing power will most likely remain poor. From October 2021 to January 2022, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are still most likely across worst-affected areas where households had limited ability to engage in the agricultural season. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are now anticipated to be more widespread in some Northwestern areas due to continuing constraints on household income.

    • The main harvest started in September across much the country, with most households harvesting early maturing crops such as maize, millet, rice, yams, potatoes, and groundnuts. Overall, the national harvest is expected to be below average due to conflict, lower than typical access to inputs due to below-average income, and flooding. The start of the harvest has led to an increase in market supplies and household stocks, driving declines in market prices as demand declines; however, prices remain above average. Market-dependent households also have increased labor opportunities with the harvesting activities, improving market access for labor-dependent households. As a result, in October, in non-conflict-affected areas of the country, food security is expected to improve with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes expected to be widespread.

    • The poor macroeconomic conditions persist despite the decline in annual inflation for the fifth consecutive month to 17.01 percent in August from 17.38 percent in July. The decrease in annual inflation is predominately due to the decline in food inflation as food prices have declined with the harvest. Although, the annual inflation rate remains well above the expected Central Bank’s (CBN) benchmark set at six to nine percent for 2021. According to the CBN, between December 2015, just before the 2016 recession, and September 2021, the NGN on the official market depreciated by over 209 percent. The NGN on the parallel market has depreciated further than on the official market. The continued high inflation puts pressure on fuel, transportation, and markets, driving significantly above-average staple prices.

    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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