Reduced food availability in the north; food access compromised in pastoral areas
Staple foods are available and continue to circulate in northern Mali, even though marketing systems have been greatly affected by the escalation of conflict since January 2013. With the exception of Kidal, traders continue to supply most of the north, though less frequently and at lower levels than usual.
The typical, seasonal downward trend in cereal prices ended prematurely in mid-January in the north, following conflict-related disruptions to the marketing system (Figures 2 to 4). The magnitude and potential effects of these price increases are especially worrisome in urban areas where remaining local food stocks are low.
In early February 2013, significant cereal stocks were available among traders in Mopti who typically supply northern markets. High levels of insecurity currently discourage large trade volumes towards northern Mali, although trader stocks in key source markets are sufficient to meet staple food needs in northern markets if commercial activity along the major marketing corridors resumes.
Physical access constraints and/or the absence of traders or stocks on markets in northern Mali could lead to the rapid deterioration of food security among pastoralists, who are completely market-dependent to meet their staple food needs. Assuming the continuation of market disruptions and poor humanitarian access in pastoral zones, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected by early April due to shortages on key markets, restricted movement, and the onset of the pastoral lean season.