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Food security and humanitarian implications in West Africa and the Sahel, N°65 - June 2015

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Situation Report
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Key Points

  • The late arrival of rains entail an extension of pastoral lean season and the delay of the start of the cropping season.

  • The FAO Food Price Index falls to its lowest value since September 2009.

  • The overall cereal availability is satisfactory in most markets in the region, however, we observe the first price increases with the beginning of the lean season.

  • According to the Cadre Harmonisé analysis on the food and nutrition situation in the Sahel and West Africa, about 7.5 million people, including 4.5 million in the Sahel will be food and nutrition crisis in June-August 2015.

The 2015-2016 crop year is marked by the late arrival of rains, rainfall deficits and a late start of crops especially in the northern areas of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo, Mali and southern Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. The El Niño phenomenon will continue until the end of the year, however, its impact will be reduced in the rainy season in the region.

The pastoral situation remains worrying with the continuation of the lean season due to the low emergence of pasture resulting from the rainy late start.

The outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza has spread to Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Following attacks by armed groups, the ongoing conflicts in Mali and in Nigeria continuing to displace people. This situation contributes in deterioration of the Food Security situation of displaced persons as well as host communities.

Globally, the regional markets are well supplied with the grains except those located in areas of conflict in northern Mali, northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin. Prices of major products remained close to the average of the past five years. In Ghana, significant price increases were observed in a context of persistent inflation due to the depreciation of the national currency.

The persistence of security crises in northern Mali and in the Lake Chad Basin (Niger, Nigeria, Chad) could aggravate the food and nutritional insecurity.