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Severe flooding drives substantial population displacement and crop losses

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • September 2022
Severe flooding drives substantial population displacement and crop losses

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • While rainfall has generally been favorable across the country for the 2022 season, supporting crop growth and development, above-average rainfall in the Sahel and northern Nigeria, as well as the release of water from dams, has led to widespread flooding across many states. According to the National Emergency Management Agency, as of September 21, over 500,000 people have been affected, over 100,000 displaced, and 300 deaths recorded across 29 states.  According to WFP, as of September 19, over 637,000 hectares of cropland were flooded. Specifically in the northeast, where some of the country’s most vulnerable populations reside, nearly 15,000 people have been displaced due to flooding. Flooding will likely continue into October as the season is most likely to end late, keeping streamflow’s high. 

    • Previous production estimates were already expected to be lower than usual due to conflict and high agricultural input prices; now, due to flooding, the likely production is expected to decrease further. The continued heavy rainfall and flooding have led to crop losses, especially in riverine areas and along flood plains. The crop losses are likely to be significant in Jigawa, Benue, Niger, and Adamawa states, where household production is expected to be low for the primary season. Crops in much of the country are in the maturation stage, with the green harvest ongoing. Displaced households and those with significant crop losses are likely to be atypically market reliant during the harvesting and post-harvest periods due to crop losses. These households are likely to engage somewhat in dry season cultivation due to the high soil moisture; however, with the high cost of agricultural inputs, overall engagement in the secondary agricultural season is likely to be lower than normal. 

    • Conflict across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states remain at relatively low levels. From late August through September, conflict events occurred in Ngala, Kaga, Monguno, and Dikwa LGAs. The prolonged nature of the conflict and displacement of households have led to disruption and erosion of livelihood activities. This, coupled with atypically high food prices, is restricting household access to market foods. Despite some crops, like millet, maize, and groundnuts becoming available, they are not sufficient to mitigate food consumption deficits across a significant proportion of the population; as a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely through at least early 2023. In areas that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, bartering, begging, and wild food consumption are the main sources of food. While the harvest will mitigate some food consumption deficits, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely in these areas. 

    • In August, humanitarian actors assisted over 2.3 million beneficiaries in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states. Most of these beneficiaries are IDPs in camps in Borno state. Food assistance delivery in August reached about 38 percent more people than in July. Although distribution in August was slightly lower than in August 2021. Assistance is mitigating food consumption deficits among those in most IDP camps with Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes ongoing. 

    • Kidnapping and banditry continue in many areas of the Northwest of Nigeria, resulting in population displacement, disrupted market activities, constrained income opportunities, and below-normal engagement in the ongoing agricultural season. Pastoral households have relocated to safer areas to evade kidnapping and cattle rustling. The harvest is underway in some areas, particularly near major urban areas. Despite the harvest, staple prices remain atypically high due to restricted market access and high market demand. Many households engaged in unskilled labor, hawking of goods, and firewood sales and are only able to meet basic food needs and face Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Although many households face limited ability to earn income and have yet to access the harvest. These households are mainly reliant on firewood sales, wild food for consumption with limited community support for food and, are facing food consumption gaps, and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).  Worst-affected households reliant on begging and face extreme difficulty accessing food are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Food security outcomes are likely to moderately improve in the harvest period, with the number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) expected to decrease; however, overall, the population in need in this area of the country is likely to remain higher than normal. 

    • Poor macroeconomic conditions persist, with annual inflation accelerating to 20.52 percent in August, relative to 19.64 percent in July. This is the highest inflation rate since September 2005. The increasing annual inflation rate is attributable to rises in food prices, transportation costs, cooking gas, and fuel prices. Despite the early harvest of some staples, food prices remain significantly higher than average, mainly attributable to the high cost of transportation, high market demand, and below-average market stocks. However, some staple prices are slightly lower than the previous year due to the start of the harvest. Maize prices in August 2022 are relatively 5 to 15 percent lower than last year in Dawanau, Maiduguri, and Bodija markets; however, remaining nearly 40 percent or higher than 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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